Indian cricket politics is a funny beast.
It attracts the wealthy, the elite and the former player.
But rarely does it attract proven sporting administrators. This is not a place for them.
The latest shining administrative star is Sourav Ganguly.
Widely respected for his toughness on the field, this man born into privilege is now carving his way through the Indian cricketing boardrooms.
He holds posts as the owner of an ISL franchise, is on the IPL Governing Council, is also on the Mudgal committee that is probing the IPL, is a member of the 3 man BCCI cricket advisory committee and also sits on the Wisden Editorial Board.
That’s a long list.
His latest appointment is as the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
That therefore makes him an Executive member of the BCCI.
Is he about to flower into the new Srinivasan?
One of the interesting aspects of his BCCI role is that Ganguly will serve under leadership of Shashank Manohar. The same Manohar who this week announced that the BCCI will become extremely open and transparent to rid itself of Conflicts of Interest.
This is the exact opposite of the regime that Ganguly has played in under the now departed Srinivasan.
Given this, is it now feasible that Ganguly sits on the Mudgal Committee as well as the IPL Governing Council?
In essence, the IPL is being investigated by the IPL about match fixing and corruption in the IPL.
Didn’t the BCCI already pull this stunt with Ravi Shastri? Isn’t that why the Mudgal committee was formed in the first place? To stop the BCCI being clowns?
Perhaps that’s just how it was in the good old days. Well, if 2014 were the good old days.
It is all so confusing.
But wait, there’s more.
Ganguly sits on the Wisden Editorial Board while holding an executive post in the BCCI?
Surely having influence on cricket media while the incumbent in an elected position raises eyebrows.
It would be like Barack Obama writing the editorial column for the New York Times.
And aren’t the IPL and ISL competing for advertising spend and media rights deals? Does Ganguly excuse himself from those commercial discussions as corporate governance would dictate?
Who has the time to do all these roles anyway? Surely, none of these posts are receiving his 100% attention and effort. By logical conclusion, those he is representing in these posts are being cheated.
Wrong choice of words perhaps?
All of this worthy of a discussion. All is unlikely to be questioned by the powers that be. even the Supreme Court appears to be disinterested these days.
Perhaps a bigger question is what is Ganguly’s driver? Why does he need to be on every board and panel imaginable?
Is the Indian cultural pressure to exude status and influence one that he cannot distance himself from? Perhaps he just wants to give back to the game that game so much to him?
That man Ravi Shastri appears to have it all worked out. A million dollar salary to be a Teflon coated special projects manager. Investigator, commentator, temporary team manager and temporary coach.
Actually, to be an Indian cricket administrator, it appears that one just needs to be an ex player who likes temporary roles.
Gavaskar was a brilliant temporary IPL Chairman. Who knows what he is getting paid to do now? Whatever it is, I can assure you it is temporary.
Is Sourav setting himself up to one day be the President of the BCCI?
What of MS Dhoni?
As captain of India and leader of the free world through all issues in recent time, he has remained remarkably close lipped.
One can picture him practicing his lines with Srinivasan over a glass of fine Scotch whiskey.
“It’s not that hard Mahendra. Just follow after me….I have not done anything wrong…..”
You just know his next step after playing retirement is to be a BCCI official.
On a temporary basis of course. Full time couldn’t work, given his commitments as a Vice President of India Cements.
Speaking of time, is Anurag Thakur the only Minister of Parliament in the world that is the Secretary of the biggest board in the world’s second largest sport.
Did those that voted for him to look after their domestic interests in health, defense, education and law realise that he would also be a beacon of virtue in regards to their cricketing desires?
He must have 30 hours available to him in a day.
Ah, Indian cricket administrators.
They are a funny breed.
Reproduced at The Quint