Even as there was euphoria in the mainstream media about Sourav Ganguly becoming a cricketer representative to occupy the top post in the BCCI, there was always a concern that Ganguly was already a seasoned administrator and would therefore, either act as one or having to toe the line with those who have held the post behind him. Those concerns have now come to the fore as the BCCI AGM has decided to appeal against the Lodha report reforms, not surprisingly including issues such as tenure for administrators as well as conflict of interest.

Sourav Ganguly appeared to be pro cricket. But there was always the contentious situation that as a former captain and administrator at the Cricket Association of Bengal under Jagmohan Dalmiya, Ganguly had moved on from his playing days to now becoming a full time administrator and therefore, thinking like one. While there was reason to believe that only a cricketer would understand the plight of his fellow players, it stands to good reason that just like all cricketers do not make great captains, every cricketer cannot be expected to act like a player when he dons the administrator’s hat.

Furthermore, while the world went gaga over Ganguly’s eventually unopposed election to the post, there was skepticism that he was being propped up as the face of reform but would be rendered a figurehead against forces and factions that have long ruled the BCCI as their personal fiefdom.

With N. Srinivasan and his cronies eyeing a backdoor entry, as well as the privileged post at the International Cricket Council (ICC) once more, it was expected that one of the items on the agenda of this obdurate former administrative stronghold would be rollbacking tenure to negate the cooling off period as prescribed by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha report as part of its recommendations to clean up cricket.

However, the BCCI’s first AGM under its own leadership has used the excuse of talented and experienced administrators being benched by the mandated cooling off period as well as the age cut off which has rendered administrators such as Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah out of the game. With the BCCI intent of appealing and reverting to their old ways, it is not hard to see why there has been such skeptical mutterings behind closed doors about how much of a change this appointment really is.

With the agenda of the BCCI blatantly put forth, while there is leeway for consideration when it comes to people such as Rahul Dravid, it is easy to see how the relaxing of the rules pertaining to conflict of interest, put in place to put cricket at the forefront, will bring back all of the old malaise.

Leave a comment