Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday took over as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being elected unopposed at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. Ganguly became the 39th BCCI president and he has been officially entrusted with the task of heading Indian cricket for the next nine months at the BCCI's General Body meeting, ending a 33-month reign of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).
The CoA took over the BCCI on January 30, 2017 and was initially a four-member panel, including Vinod Rai, historian Ramchandra Guha, former India women's cricket team captain Dianna Edulji, and banker Vikram Limaye. However, Guha and Limaye stepped down citing personal reasons while Rai and Edulji continued before Thodge was added to the equation in February this year.
But, with Ganguly and his new team taking over, CoA's watch will come to an end and the BCCI will return to its normal functioning with the new members on board.
Ganguly, 47, will be joined by Home Minister Amit Shah's son Jay Shah as the new secretary while Arun Dhumal will be the new treasurer. Kerala's Jayesh George took the joint secretary's position while Mahim Verma of Uttarakhand will be the new vice-president.
Following his nomination last week, Ganguly said that his main aim is to resurrect the image of BCCI.
"I am happy with the appointment because this is the time when BCCI's image has got hampered and it's a great opportunity for me to do something," Ganguly said.
"Whether you are elected unopposed or otherwise, it's a big responsibility because it is the biggest organization in the world of cricket. India is a powerhouse. It will be a challenge," he added.
Ganguly, who also holds the post of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) currently, went on to add that his first aim is to look after the domestic cricketers.
"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," he said.
But, due to his appointment as the head of the BCCI, Ganguly will have to step down as the CAB head as one person cannot serve two positions at a time, which directly accounts for conflict of interest.
However, Ganguly's time at the helm is set to be as short as 9 months as he will enter a mandatory cooling-off period from July 2020 under the new rules as he has been the president of the CAB for the past five years and an administrator can only serve six years at a trot.
Ganguly, who took over as India captain during one of its darkest hours following the 2000 match-fixing scandal, will need to demit office by the end of July next year as per the provisions of new constitution, which makes 'Cooling Off' period mandatory after six years in office.
One of the most elegant left-handers to have represented India, Ganguly is expected to make use of his experience gained as the secretary and later president of Cricket Association of Bengal.
He has set a few goals and the primary ones are restructuring of first-class cricket as well as getting the administration back in shape along with getting India's position of reverence back in the corridors of International Cricket Council (ICC).
With the conflict of interest rules in place, Ganguly will face the challenge of having quality cricketers on board as far as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and national selection committees are concerned.
His take on veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni's international future, Day/Night Test cricket, permanent Test centres will also be dissected.
His tenure begins at a time when the International Cricket Council has left India out of its newly-formed working group, which might affect the country's share in the ICC revenue.
The group has been formed to figure out a new governance structure for the world body.
(With PTI Inputs)