Kolkata: The possibility of two former India cricketers, Sourav Ganguly and Brijesh Patel, becoming office-bearers of the new-look Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reasonably strong.
The talk is that Ganguly looks good to be president of the BCCI and Patel its secretary or treasurer, well-placed sources told the ThePrint with some confidence Saturday.
How the script unfolds at the 23 October AGM of the BCCI should be known by Sunday night, after the all-important meeting of past and present administrators in Mumbai.
In the mix too are Gujarat’s Jay Shah, son of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union minister Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun Singh Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh), and Delhi’s Rajat Sharma, a media personality.
The man to watch out for ahead of the meeting in Mumbai clearly is Jay Shah. He will be representing the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) at the AGM, and would be present at the meeting in Mumbai.
Ball in Amit Shah’s court
The ball is actually in the court of Amit Shah, widely regarded as the most powerful man in the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will decide whether or not to expose his son to the public glare, and to what extent.
Traditionally, the BCCI has enjoyed an exceptionally high profile, and its office-bearers remain in the news.
It’s not only about his son, for Amit Shah, who helmed the GCA, is expected to have the biggest say in the appointment of the next set of BCCI office-bearers. Prime Minister Modi too is a former head of the GCA.
Thakur, a former president of the BCCI, would also be present at the meeting in Mumbai, and one can expect him to play a key role in the lead up to the AGM, naturally keeping Amit Shah in the loop.
One factor against Ganguly
The only factor working against Ganguly, the steel-injecting former captain, is that his tenure will not be more than nine months, as he would complete six years at a stretch as an administrator of the Cricket Association of Bengal, in July 2020.
Cooling-off for three years sets in once six years have been completed.
Even Jay Shah will have almost a similar length of tenure, as he has served as an office-bearer of the GCA.
The restrictions on Ganguly and Jay Shah would be applicable according to the provisions of the BCCI’s constitution as they exist at this point in time.
Nobody, of course, knows what the future holds.
Besides the posts of the president, secretary and treasurer, the remaining office-bearers’ positions in the BCCI are those of vice-president and joint-secretary.
With eight affiliated units (including the still-influential N. Srinivasan’s Tamil Nadu) deemed ineligible to attend, only 30 can participate in the BCCI’s AGM.
The mood, thus far, is to have unanimity and to avoid elections.