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First-class cricket, conflict of interest on Ganguly’s agenda as BCCI presidentship beckons

Sourav Ganguly
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

After emerging as the unanimous choice for the post, Sourav Ganguly, who is set to become the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI], said that his biggest priority would be to look after the financial health of India’s first-class cricketers.

“We will speak to everyone first as we take a decision, but my biggest priority will be to look after first-class cricketers,” Ganguly told PTI. “I have been requesting that to the CoA [Committee of Administrators] for three years. That’s the first thing I will do, look after the financial health of our first-class cricketers.”

The former India captain also referred to conflict of interest as a “very serious issue in Indian cricket” and said that it needs to be looked into. Ganguly himself has been pulled up over it in the past, when in addition to being in the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee, he was also involved in commentary and in a coaching role with Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals.

“Conflict is an issue. Whether you will actually get the best cricketers in the [BCCI] system, I am not sure because they will have other options to avail,” Ganguly said. “Because if they come into the system and not get to do what is their livelihood, it is very difficult for them to be part of this system and make a difference.

“So that’s one issue which really needs to be looked at. Look at all the appointments that have happened in various forms, whether it is the NCA [National Cricket Academy] or CAC or the appointment of batting coaches, fielding coaches, there has been issue with everything… commentators, IPL. This needs to be sorted as it is another very serious issue in Indian cricket.”

Ganguly was also intent on revisiting the financial model that determines the share of revenues the BCCI receives from the ICC. The Indian board took a cut following a reworking of the model in 2017, but Ganguly said that the status quo was not taking things anywhere.

“We have not received any money in the last three-four years from the ICC,” he said. “Money in the sense, what you deserve, because India generates 75-80% of the [global cricket] revenue, so that is going to be one of the big agendas. Talks and discussions need to happen and we need to find a solution because this is not leading anywhere.”

As for other areas of administration that need attending to, Ganguly said: “To get the administration in order, because administration involves a lot of things, to get the house in order, to get the office in order, and most importantly cricket.

“It’s a very important time in Indian cricket administration because of what all has happened in the last three years. To be in a position where I can make a difference along with the [administration] team would be extremely satisfying, so hopefully in the next few months we can put everything in place and bring back normalcy in Indian cricket.

“It’s very satisfying [to be picked as the new president]. It was almost an emergency kind of situation in the BCCI in the last three years. The members overcame that and the eight names that have been announced, we wish to bring BCCI back to normalcy. But there’s a lot of work to do. Indian cricket, especially administration, has to be the best in the world, and that’s how it has been over the years.”

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