September 23, 2015 12:56:29 am
News from the BCCI is that there will be no interim arrangement in terms of nominating a successor for the late Jagmohan Dalmiya. Whatever the cricket board decides, via a Special General Meeting (SGM), will have “finality” to it.
As it is East Zone’s turn to elect the president till 2017, all six units from the region have become very important. A presidential candidate — he has to attend at least two AGMs and serve as an office bearer or vice-president — must find a proposer from the East Zone. If other five affiliates support him, then he becomes the unanimous choice. But if there’s a division in the camp and another candidate turns up, election will be held.
Both N Srinivasan and Sharad Pawar are expected to be very active in the lead-up to the SGM and a straight fight between the two factions appears to be likely.
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Eventually it would boil down to getting the numbers from the East and here are the men who will decide the outcome.
Sourav Ganguly (joint-secretary, Cricket Association of Bengal): He’s a greenhorn in cricket administration but has already become influential because of his stature. He’s expected to be in the thick of things, given that he has become the face of Bengal cricket after Dalmiya’s death. Ganguly is said to be on good terms with BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur. But it would be interesting to see if he prefers to take a side or remains neutral in the post-Dalmiya era.
Biswarup Dey (treasurer, CAB): A major power-broker with over a decade of experience in the state association. Dey is close to Srinivasan. In fact, he had never been friendly with Pawar because the latter ousted Dalmiya from the BCCI in 2006 and then took the marquee India versus England World Cup fixture away from the Eden Gardens in 2011. Pawar was the ICC chief then. It is unlikely that Dey will concede ground to Ganguly and allow him to attend the SGM.
Subir Ganguly (joint-secretary, CAB): Hard worker and affable, but not very keen to get into the thick of affairs. He could be the CAB’s consensus candidate to attend the SGM.
Ranjib Biswal (president, Orissa Cricket Association): He is a Srinivasan loyalist. He was the IPL chairman but had been removed from the post after Dalmiya and Thakur took over in March this year. Biswal is a Rajya Sabha member from Congress. Will he incline towards Rajeev Shukla if his party colleague throws his hat into the ring? Unlikely, unless Shukla has Srinivasan’s support or there’s a clear directive from the party high command.
Ashirwad Behera (secretary, Orissa Cricket Association): Another Srinivasan loyalist who has been holding the post in the state association for 15 years. Behera is basically the de-facto head of Orissa cricket and will have a huge say as far as the OCA’s decision is concerned. If Srinivasan throws up a nominee for president’s post, he will have the OCA’s support.
Gautam Roy (president, Assam Cricket Association): He’s the BCCI vice-president from East Zone and also the senior-most, having joined the cricket board in early 1990s. He’s a minister in the Tarun Gogoi cabinet as well. On Tuesday, Roy, however, informed The Indian Express that he’s unlikely to contest for the BCCI president’s post because of time constraints. But which camp will he side with if there’s an election? Roy had demanded Srinivasan’s ouster from the BCCI in the aftermath of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal. But the erstwhile BCCI boss had walked the extra mile ahead of the last AGM and eventually secured the ACA’s vote. At the moment, Roy prefers to wait. He will keep a close watch on the developments.
Amitabh Chaudhary (president, Jharkhand State Cricket Association): The BCCI joint-secretary, whose name is doing the rounds as a consensus candidate from the East Zone for president’s post. Chaudhary has changed Jharkhand cricket after taking charge of affairs in 2002.
He represented Srinivasan’s panel in the last AGM and defeated Chetan Desai to become the cricket board’s joint-secretary. An ex-IPS officer, he has also flirted with politics, joining BJP last year. In fact, he’s one of Srinivasan’s favoured options for the BCCI president’s post.
Sourav Dasgupta (secretary, Tripura Cricket Association): Became the TCA secretary last year and reportedly voted for Thakur in the last AGM. A cop by profession, Dasgupta and his association haven’t taken any decision yet.
KP Kajaria (secretary, National Cricket Club): Now his mentor is no more, he has to take a decision on his own. Likely to consult Dalmiya’s friends in Bengal cricket administration.
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