Mumbai: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is set to become the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and on Monday (October 14) he announced his “biggest priority” in his new role.
"You need to wait till 3 pm in the afternoon," Ganguly told PTI during an interaction. He edged former India batsman Brijesh Patel to emerge as the lone candidate for the Indian cricket board's president's post.
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"Obviously, it's a great feeling as I have played for the country and captained the country. And I am taking over at a time when BCCI has not been in greatest of position for the last three years. Its image has got hampered quite a lot. It's a great opportunity for me to do something good," said the former India captain, who will have to demit office in July, due to compulsory cooling off period.
The 47-year-old Ganguly, who is currently the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), said he will speak to everyone and his “biggest priority” is to take care of first-class cricketers.
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"We will speak to everyone first as we take a decision but my biggest priority will be to look after first-class cricketers. I had requested that to the CoA for three years and they didn't listen. That's the first thing I will do, look after the financial health of our first-class cricketers,” Ganguly, who took India to 2003 World Cup final in South Africa, said.
With Ganguly set to be elected unopposed, he said, "Whether unopposed or not, there has to be responsibility as it is the biggest organisation in world cricket. Financially, India is a cricketing powerhouse, so it will be a challenge."
Does he regret that the term will be only for nine months?
"Yes, that's the rule and we will deal with it," he added.
For someone, who has won many close ODIs for India, Ganguly was emotionally intrigued by how the board room politics worked.
"I didn’t know I would be the President when I came down. You (reporter) asked me and I told you it's Brijesh and when I went up and I came to know it has changed. I have never been in a BCCI election and I never knew it worked like this," he said.
He had a meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday (October 12) and when asked about whether he will have to campaign for BJP in Bengal, he answered in the negative.
"No, no nothing of that sort. Nobody told me anything," Ganguly said.
Jagmohan Dalmiya has pulled off some amazing board room coups and talking about the late BCCI boss, Ganguly got emotional.
"I have never imagined so (that I will be in shoes of late Jagmohan Dalmiya). He has been like a father to me. There has been some great presidents of BCCI, Mr Srinivasan, Anurag, who have done great job," he said.
So will it be different from captaincy? Ganguly answered, "Nothing can beat being an India captain.
(With inputs from PTI)