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Sourav Ganguly (centre) is accompanied by former Board of Control for Cricket in India president N. Srinivasan and other senior officials as he arrives at the BCCI headquarters to file nomination for the board's elections in Mumbai on Monday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Cricket fraternity is delighted over former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly emerging as the unanimous candidate for the post of Board of Control for Cricket’s in India’s (BCCI) new President.

It was a much-awaited delight, for fans as well as cricketers, of having a cricketer of his stature at the helm of India’s cricket administration.

Ganguly will thus become only the second Indian captain to become the president of BCCI after Maharajkumar of Vizianagram held the post in 1954.

“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 Ganguly, who emerged as the consensus candidate.

There was midnight drama in Mumbai on Sunday when Ganguly bounced back as the surprise choice by piping former cricketer Brijesh Patel, who was poised to clinch the President’s post with the backing of former BCCI President N. Srinivasan’s lobby. Sources in the know said ‘Dada’ turned down the offer to be the IPL chairman in the evening and sent back to his hotel room.

Ganguly, President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), said that he was surprised by the developments too.

“I didn’t know I would be the President. I told you all (reporters) it’s Brijesh and when I went up (to meeting room) I came to know it has changed. I have never been in a BCCI election and I never knew it worked like this way.”

Asked what may have tilted the scales in his favour, Ganguly said his experience as CAB chief may have counted in his favour. “I think experience was looked at. I have spent the last six years now in cricket administration. The house needs to be set in order and that’s what we need to do at this moment. Hopefully in the next few months, we can put everything in place and bring back normalcy in Indian cricket.

“My biggest focus will be on first-class cricket. I have been very vocal about taking care of the first-class cricketers. Indian cricket administration has to be the best in the world. We have to get the administration in order,” he said.

The battle for power was between the two king makers of Indian cricket — former BCCI President-turned-Union Minister Anurag Thakur-led BJP camp and former BCCI president N. Srinivasan. Ganguly won over the support of the BJP, as is evident from the fact that the new BCCI secretary will be none other than India’s Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah. Thakur’s younger brother, Arun Dhumal, will be the treasurer.

Jayesh George of the Kerala Cricket Association will be the Joint Secretary, making up a young team of administrators taking over the BCCI. Weeks of lobbying and hectic parleys have resulted in all of them being elected unopposed. Brijesh Patel will now become the IPL chairman while his predecessor Rajiv Shukla will have to undergo a cooling-off period as he held the post for three years.

The elections of the BCCI, scheduled for October 23, is now inconsequential and it will put an end to the 33-month term of the Committee of Administrators (COA) which governed the BCCI following the Lodha Committee recommendations.

Former Indian opener and coach Anhsuman Gaekwad will be men’s Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) representative in the BCCI beating former cricketer Kirti Azad for the post while Shanta Rangaswamy was earlier elected unopposed as female ICA representative.

Mahim Verma from the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand has become the unanimous candidate for the Vice President’s post.

Who’s Who in BCCI

President: Sourav Ganguly

Vice-President: Mahim Verma

Secretary: Jay Shah

Jt. Secretary: Jayesh George

Treasurer: Arun Dhumal

IPL chairman: Brijesh Patel