In the hot seat, as the new CAB president, in place of the late Jagmohan Dalmiya who passed away recently, the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has vowed to focus on junior cricket, and create a system which produces players. “For us the entire focus will be on the 22 yards. That’s what the association is for and try and produce the best facilities. We have good facilities we will try to make it better and create a system which produces players.”
“It’s a new challenge but I believe the knowledge of the game is important. We are a team. I learn also. There’s no magic wand. I have learnt as a secretary, it’s same with Avishek also,” Ganguly said at a news conference, after the special general meeting.
The SGM, which lasted less than 10 minutes, was just a formality, as he was garlanded before taking over the hot seat in the BC Roy Club House, where once Dalmiya ran the world cricket administration.
A former joint secretary since 2014, Ganguly took over as the president, while junior Dalmiya, Avishek, was formally inducted into the cricket administration as joint-secretary. The two appointments were announced by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, at the state secretariat Nabanna, three days after Jagmohan Dalmiya’s demise, on September 20.
Speaking on his role as the new CAB president, Ganguly further said, his focus would also be on junior cricket. “I have a huge idea. It’s about trying to get them young. It’s what the big football clubs do, look after them and by the time they’re 15 they become world beaters. CAB has got the money and infrastructure to do it and we’ll do that.”
Asked whether he would get foreign coaches, he said: “Good coach does not necessarily have to be from overseas. We have to see the logistics. We have enough people around. No system is foolproof. There will be hiccups. We will try and do our best. We have to work as a team and make it transparent.”
Ganguly, who was once termed India’s most successful captain, said, the challenge is bigger as an administrator as, here he would have to manage 121 affiliated units. He stressed on the importance of team work.
“It’s just the number of people who are a bit more here. In Team India, I had to deal with 15. Here I have to deal with 121. There are a lot of good people. In every aspect of life there will be challenges. At home there are people who think differently. You have to get them on the same plane. It’s about creating a system. Whatever happens will be in the association’s name and whatever does not happen will be in the association’s name. That’s most important thing,” Ganguly said.
The 43-year-old said that, Dalmiya would be his role model, but he would tread his own path. “I will start on a clean slate. I have learnt a lot in 11-12 months. If you expect me to have the experience of Mr Dalmiya, it’s impossible. I’ve said in my speech, I am not filling anyone’s boot. I’m just trying to walk on my own feet and do the best I can. Immediate next work is Eden Gardens.”
Terming it an unexpected and proud moment, Ganguly said: “It’s unexpected, something which I didn’t even think of. 13 months ago, if somebody would have told me you would become the president, I would not have believed it. It would be like somebody telling me you would get a century at Lord’s on debut before I played there.”
“Life you never know. It’s about doing what you can do the best. Be honest. Last 20 years my life has taught me all these things. It’s through experience. The belief has not come just because I believe but because I’ve seen it happen.”
“I did not want to be in this situation under such circumstances but that’s life. You never know what’s going to happen six months later. Both of us have a responsibility to take his good work forward. We’ll do that to the best of our ability.”
He further said, he’s already cut down on TV commentaries and still contemplating whether to play in the Shane Warne – Sachin Tendulkar’s Veterans Twenty20.