While it is called The Gentlemen’s game, cricket is plagued with controversies, dirt, scandals and disputes. And if the world cricket has carried the burden of this, how could have India stayed away.
The cricketing culture in India was tormented with match-fixing scandals and the team certainly has a dark future when the board turned to Sourav Ganguly in 2000 to get it back on track.
After attaining the captaincy, Ganguly right away started giving chances to youngsters and within a couple of years, we had a core team that was ready to represent India at the biggest tournament. Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh and even MS Dhoni had already become the match-winners for the side.
The final result in 2003 though didn’t go India’s way but it surely ignited a belief in these youngsters that they could make a name for themselves in the coming years. And this certainly happened. The majority of the above-mentioned players were the part of the Indian team that lifted the 2011 World Cup. In fact, Yuvraj was adjudged the man of the tournament.
By the time, he announced his “forceful” retirement, Ganguly had somewhat achieved what he was appointed for.
Cut to 2019. Ganguly is now an administrator leading the Cricket Association of Bengal “from the front”. While Ganguly was having a good run in this new role, the BCCI has once again turned to Dada to get them out of the mess they have been dealing with for the past three years.
The Board has been dealing with scandals like #MeToo, the issue relating to finance of domestic players and much more. Well, Ganguly who has always been a supporter of youngsters once agains made his intentions clear. “My first priority will be to look after first-class cricketers. I had requested to the CoA and they have not listened. Ranji Trophy cricket will be the focus. To take care of cricketers’ financial interest,” the former India skipper was quoted by India Today as saying.
“Cricketers are a part of the system but the numbers were not that much in the past. Conflict of Interest is an issue and I am not sure whether we will get the best cricketers. It really needs to be looked at. NCA, CAC, the appointment of coaches… there has been an issue with everything,” said Ganguly.
Clearly, Ganguly has a clear vision of what he wants to do and what NOT once he takes a seat. Let’s hope Dada flushes out the smut and re-build the belief the way he did almost two decades back.