Sourav Ganguly handed over on Tuesday the reins of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to former all-rounder Roger Binny, 67. Ganguly, 50, is the first BCCI president since 2011 to complete a full three-year term, after a string of controversial resignations and sackings. Here’s a look at the major changes the board and Indian cricket underwent during the former Indian cricket captain’s tenure in the office.
Day-night tests and the pink ball
Soon after assuming office in 2019, Ganguly pushed for organising the first day-night Test match in India. Played with a pink ball, the match between India and Bangladesh was held at the Eden Gardens in November 2019. India won that match.
Increasing the domestic players’ salaries
The Ganguly- and Jay Shah-led cricket administration brought in change to the salary structure for Indian domestic cricketers. The salaries were increased across three slabs for junior and senior players. The board also announced it will help domestic players who suffered financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, awarding a 50 per cent match fee as compensation for the 2020-21 season.
Managing IPL schedules during Covid-19
Ganguly also oversaw the crucial phase of the pandemic-related restriction on sports through 2020 and 2021. For safety, the BCCI decided to postpone the profitable IPL to November 8 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The IPL came back to India in April 2021.
Term extension for officeholders
Thanks to a major administrative change the BCCI fought for and won in the Supreme Court (SC), members of the central and associate state boards of cricket can now continue for two consecutive terms in office without a cooling-off period. Earlier, according to the reforms brought in by the Justice R M Lodha-led committee in 2015, all office bearers in the BCCI and associated state boards had to enter a cooling-off period before applying for a new post. The SC, in 2020, accepted the BCCI’s appeal to let members serve two consecutive terms of three years each before the cool-off stipulation is applied.
Challenges for Roger Binny
Ganguly’s administrative style was accused of being heavy-handed in team selection. The BCCI constitution bars its president from having any role in picking the national team to retain the independence and autonomy of the selection committee. Ganguly was accused of flouting this norm and sitting in meetings of the selection committee. The controversies around dropping Wriddhiman Saha from the team and Virat Kohli from captaincy fuelled controversy about the selection process.
Binny’s first task would be to establish and maintain a judicious involvement in the selection process and team administration. The new BCCI administration will have to prove that it does not want to meddle with team selection or on-field decisions.
His approach to reforms, especially for women’s cricket and domestic salaries for women cricketers, will also be a matter of great interest. After Ganguly’s controversial exit, Binny will be under scrutiny on how he manages Indian cricket.