Eight years after he had sent an email decrying the Jagmohan Dalmiya-led ruling faction of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for not supporting Bengal cricketers, Sourav Ganguly became the state association’s joint-secretary following its 83rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
The former India captain, who represented Barisha Sporting Club and filed his nomination as a member of Dalmiya’s panel, was elected unopposed. Dalmiya, too, was re-elected without contest. He has been in charge of the CAB affairs since 1993.
The 74-year-old former ICC and BCCI president welcomed Ganguly into cricket administration and hoped for a strong partnership.
“When I was the BCCI president, he (Ganguly) was India captain. Together we formed a winning partnership. Here also, I’m looking forward to forging a strong partnership with him,” said Dalmiya.
Ganguly, working as TV pundit in England at the moment, couldn’t attend the meeting but kept a tab on the proceedings.
In 2006, he had thrown his weight behind Dalmiya’s challenger, then police commissioner of Kolkata Prasun Mukherjee, and accused the CAB of not supporting his cause after he was dropped from the Indian team.
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Dalmiya won the bitterly-fought election by five votes and had then described Ganguly as a “kid”. “He’s a baccha (kid). It’s not right to talk about bacchas,” he had said.
Much water has flowed under the Howrah Bridge since and the two high-profile personalities have mended fences. So Dalmiya hoped that Ganguly’s first foray into full-time cricket administration would be a success.
Today’s meeting also saw a host of ruling Trinamool Congress party members, including the minister for public health and engineering Subrata Mukherjee, minister for youth services and housing Aroop Biswas, minister for food and supplies Jyotipriyo Mullick and his party colleague Subrata Bakshi, an MP from the Kolkata South constituency, attend it on behalf of different CAB-affiliated units.
Subrata Mukherjee questioned the AGM procedure, when at the start of the meeting, Dalmiya said he would conduct it as because no nomination was filed from the opposition group.
“It’s not the right process. In parliamentary process, we’ve a returning officer who conducts the proceedings. Here, someone should have proposed Dalmiya’s name and another member should have seconded it,” said Mukherjee.
Dalmiya, however, defended his decision saying: “We stuck by our constitution. But if any member wants further discussion on it, he’s welcome.”
For the record, 120 out of 121 CAB affiliates attended the meeting. Bankura DSA was barred on technical grounds.