The Coronavirus pandemic has brought a drought of live-sports across the world. Cricket has been one of the worst-hit sports in the pandemic. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has already been postponed and the fortunes of the T20 World Cup also hangs by the thread. Resumption of cricket in these tumultuous times and steering away the cricket boards towards financial security is the main job of ICC.
Now South Africa’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has come out in support of current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and said that he wants him (Ganguly) to take over ICC chairmanship in this tough period for cricket.
“It is very important to have the right person as head of the ICC. Post-COVID, cricket will need strong leadership and it is time for someone close to the modern game with leadership credentials to get into the position.” said the former Captain of South African national team.
Once he’s done with the BCCI, the southpaw batsmen said ‘he wants Ganguly to take over the ICC,’ which is currently under the charge of Shashank Manohar
ICC’s current chairperson Shashank Manohar has already said he won’t be seeking re-election and is expected to step down in June. Since the post of chairman will be vacant, Smith decided to bat for Ganguly.
Dada, as he is fondly called around, took charge as the BCCI President in October last year and since then he has been on a rampage to bring about sweeping administrative changes in BCCI. He has brought renewed vigour in BCCI just the way he did with the Indian team in the early 2000s.
The moment Ganguly assumed the chair, one of the first major assignment he undertook was hosting India’s first-ever pink ball test at the historical Eden Gardens stadium.
Under previous BCCI president regimes, the board had been apprehensive and conservative in its approach regarding the day-night test but as soon as Ganguly came aboard, it was all hands on the deck.
His proposal of a super-ODI series with four top cricket teams of the world– India, Australia, England, and one other team is also being seen as a potential game-changer.
Apart from these, Dada has also turned his attention to the revival and amelioration of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), which, incidentally has another cricketing great, Rahul David at the helm of affairs.
Ganguly has time and again proven himself as a leader and as an able administrator. He had led the West Bengal cricket board effectively during his term and the little we have seen of him as BCCI President has been more than enough to stamp his authority.
Dada has the knack of politics too which is required at power positions like that of ICC’s president. “He is a very, very good man and has those political skills,” said former England captain David Gower in a recent interview, backing the calls to make Ganguly the head of ICC.
The return of Bundesliga is being closely monitored and if the model proves successful, other sports might emulate the model of playing behind the doors with strict social-distancing norms. Ganguly, who is an avid football follower and owns the football club ATK will be looking at the developments closely.
All eyes are on India and BCCI for getting cricket back on the 22-yard pitch as it is the financial powerhouse of the sport. Countries like Australia and South Africa are looking for India to tour their countries to give them a major financial boost.
What Smith has said is absolutely true as the cricketing world needs a powerful figure at the top who has the experience of being in pressure situations and taking the brave calls—something which Dada is known for.