Man’s inquisitiveness and quest for predictability has seeped into a multitude of life-spheres, be it politics or predicting which candidate will bag most votes, or even niches like sports and betting on teams, or players, or even bodies. When it comes to cricket committees, there was an air of doubt regarding the post of President of the BCCI, and an implosion was observed in the online circuit of live betting in India, in 2019, wherein the entire nation was divided into two camps, each siding their favourite candidate for Presidentship. The online betting market was flabbergasted, considering that a lot of estimates were shattered and a lot of calculations proved wrong, only by a last minute change in candidature.
Sourav Ganguly’s chances to Presidentship came as a surprise to most, considering Brijesh Patel was the logistical and demographic favorite. In all fairness, the election of the BCCI President was as dramatic as Dada’s t-shirt 2002 escapade at Lord’s, and a sequential set of events preceded until the crown was rightfully claimed by the Prince of Kolkata.
Last Minute Drama
The individuals voting for the Presidentship status had decided en masse, that N. Srinivasan’s elect, Patel would be taking charge of the duties of the BCCI, but similar to the World Cup finals this year, there was a major turn of tables—just like how the world of sports reaches an acumen of entertainment when there is a change of events and late-match drama.
Some sources have disclosed that the former President of the BCCI, N. Srinivasan had bespoken the handing over of power to his chosen candidate, albeit a gathering was called for to make the entire conglomeration of events to be rather ceremonial. A dinner was, therefore, organized and a concourse of concerned individuals were invited. The esteemed individuals were discussing the future course of events of the BCCI, and this is when a drastic change of events transpired.
Anurag Thakur, a member of the Lower House of the Parliament, expressed the name of Ganguly as a probable and eligible candidate for the responsibility of Presidentship of the BCCI. It was at this moment when events started to take a rather different shape. Thakur’s voice and opinion was not only heard, but resonated all across the hall, and was received with valuing admiration, especially by the board members belonging to North-Eastern states, and Bengal, evidently.
It was a risky scenario considering the plethora of evidence connecting Ganguly to a certain political party that were emerging amidst Presidential elections, and Thakur’s position could well be compromised if this election took a rather political angle. However, the bets were laid after a great deal of approximation, and besides, Ganguly’s credentials as cricketer and captain meant that the Prince of Kolkata already had his royal flush even before any hands were shown.
Dadagiri in the 90s
Indian cricket has seen a major decline in quality in the 80s-90s era, primarily due to the prevalent toxic environment of illegal betting, match-fixing, and a multitude of other malpractices. A few cricketers were even caught cheating or indulging in activities like match-fixing; some of the infamous names being that of Azharuddin and Prabhakar. There was a squalid atmosphere in the entire Indian world and a grungy environment in the dressing room, so much so that even the great Tendulkar refused captaincy, lest it might prove to be another declination in the already downtrodden predicament of the organization in general and the team in specific.
This is when Ganguly was crowned the captain of the Indian cricket team, and things started to change for the better. Ganguly took it upon himself to make the board bereft of corruption of any kind. He brought in fresh blood in the form of warriors like Zaheer, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Kaif, to name a few. He not only ensured that the scum of corruption was removed from the face of the Indian team, but also protected his youngsters from any such malicious activities.
On a performance basis, Ganguly changed the shape of Indian cricket of the 90s, and provided a new light and character to Indian cricket— rightfully considered an avant-garde of modern-day cricket, and that he built the foundation of cricket which MS Dhoni expanded. Not only did he boost his own performance as a cricketer, but also changed the impression of the world about India as a cricket team—one that was previously considered a pusillanimous group of individuals who never won an overseas match, to modern-day valiant sportspersons who refuse to lose one.
Whether Dada will be able to ameliorate the despondent scenario of the board as elegantly as his cover drive, or whether he will succumb to the complexities and intricacies of the board, only time will tell.