Dubai: The speculation over what next for Sourav Ganguly, the ‘Dada’ of Indian cricket, never continues to cease. From being tipped to take over as the successor of Shashank Manohar as ICC chairman last year to a likely plunge in politics early this year, the former Indian captain and BCCI president has always evoked a great curiosity value in Indian media.
The announcement of his appointment as the chairman of ICC men’s cricket committee by Greg Barclay, the chair of world governing body of the game on Wednesday, is a clear endorsement of his decision to stay focussed on the sport which had been his lifeline. There can be very little argument that Ganguly, being one of the finest leaders of the game and someone not averse to taking up responsibilities, will be a perfect candidate to succeed his erstwhile teammate and friend Anil Kumble - who stepped down having served the maximum of three, three-year terms.
Barclay said in a statement: “I am delighted to welcome Sourav to the position of Chair of the ICC Men’s Cricket Committee. His experience as one of the world’s best players and latterly as an administrator will help us shape our cricketing decisions moving forward. I would also like to thank Anil for his outstanding leadership over the last nine years which has included improving the international game through more regular and consistent application of DRS and a robust process for addressing suspect bowling actions.”
The application of DRS, which had initial doubters in Kumble’s own country, is certainly one of the legacies of Kumble’s committee - alongwith the challenges that the cricket committee had to grapple with when international cricket resumed last year after the first surge of Covid-19 pandemic. The radical guidelines of a ban on applying saliva on the ball was one of the key decisions - which has become a norm among the bowlers now.
It will be interesting to what kind of an approach Ganguly takes to the role as in the ICC, it’s consensus which works as an operative principle. While the world governing body had, during their conclave on the sidelines of the World T20 in the UAE, sorted out a number of issues like the next cycle of white ball events, continuity of World Test Championship, the cricket committee should looks at issues like the workload management of players among other things.
Ganguly, whose tenure in office as the BCCI president alongwith secretary Jay Shah, is still hanging fire at the court of law - will be completing his three-year term in October 2022. It would be interesting to see how he wants his engagement with the ICC to pan out in the coming years.
From attending the Board of Directors’ meeting as the Indian board representative, Ganguly now has time and an opportunity to be more involved with the administration of the game.
Can he prove to be a gamechanger there?