Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has been unanimously chosen president of the Cricket Association of Bengal. The state’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced. The former BCCI and CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s son Avishek will also be inducted into the Bengal board as an official. Ganguly, who is presently a joint-secretary at the CAB, will succeed Dalmiya with the full support of West Bengal government.
Speaking to the media after he got elected as CAB chief, Ganguly said that he is thankful for the responsibility given to him and that he will try to do his best. “I am thankful for the responsibility given to me, If the 117 members agree, I will take over the responsibility and I will try and do the best. ”
Earlier in the day Sourav was in denial mode. “To discuss something like this (three days after his death) is not right. Speculation will be on, someone will run CAB. It’s too early to comment because it has just been three days… It’s very early to say,” Ganguly told reporters after his meeting.
Condoling Dalmiya’s demise, Ganguly said: “I’ve lost someone very dear. I’ve grown up before him since childhood. I had a very personal relation with Dalmiya… He was very special to me, I’ve lost a very important person.”
Asked on how difficult will it be to replace Dalmiya, Ganguly said that, “It’s a big hole to fill and I am also happy that Avishek is part of this, I will be with him and his family throughout my life.”
Earlier in the day, CAB joint secretary and current treasurer Biswarup Dey alongside Sourav Ganguly had met Mamata. Besides Ganguly, it was touted to be that Dey was also in contention for the post of presidency.
Ganguly had arrived at the state secretariat along with the late Jagmohan Dalmiya’s son Avishek and held an hour-long meeting with the chief minister. The meeting between the two was speculated to be about the discussion of Ganguly succeeding the late Jagmohan Dalmiya as the next CAB president.
While the Chief Minister officially made it clear that it was a decision taken by the CAB officials and she was there to support their bid to take the game of cricket in the state forward, it was apparent that it took government interference to anoint Ganguly in place of the late Dalmiya.
“We are going through a big crisis after his (Dalmiya) unfortunate death. Someone has to head CAB. Dalmiya loved cricket so much. So it’s important that the people close to him (should run the show)… cricket family is most important. My only request to all of you is that be together, remain united and take Jaguda’s legacy forward,” Banerjee said, with interim sports minister Arup Biswas, by her side.
While some CAB officials had to depend on the interference of the ruling party, the CM clarified that it was a decision taken by the officials themselves. “It’s not fair for me to interfere. I just want them to do well. I’m there with them like a deputy or colleague. It’s what they have decided together,” Banerjee said.
“I should not be announcing this but since all of them are requesting I feel that as someone (Sourav Ganguly) who had led India so many years should now take charge of the role and they should form the set up with Avishek, Subir, Biswarup and all other senior members,” she said.