Back in the City of Joy on Tuesday, a visibly jovial Sourav Ganguly, who is set to take over the reins of the BCCI, said there was no political development in his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah a day before he emerged as a consensus candidate for the cricket body’s top post.
Speculations have been agog that Shah had met Ganguly on Saturday and offered the BCCI president’s post in return for him contesting the West Bengal assembly elections in 2021.
Addressing a press conference in Kolkata a day after filing his nomination as the president of India’s cricket board, Ganguly said, “I met Amit Shah for the first time ever. Neither did I ask a question on BCCI, whether I was going to get a post or not, nor any discussion of ‘you will only get this if you agree to that’ happened. There is no political development.”
“I’ve heard these political questions before too when I met Mamata didi, the chief minister of West Bengal,” Ganguly
told reporters at CAB.
Even Amit Shah admitted as much in an interview to India Today, categorically denying there was any deal with the former Indian captain over BCCI presidentship.
“I did not decide who will be BCCI President. BCCI has its own election process for it. He can come see me. I have been associated with cricket for years. There is no harm in Sourav Ganguly meeting me,” Shah said.
Ganguly’s nomination came after a dramatic 24 hours of intriguing negotiations, phone calls from Delhi and an informal meeting at a Mumbai five-star hotel Sunday night where Indian cricket’s most powerful faces came together to firm up strategy for the board elections on October 23.
The southpaw pipped former BCCI president N Srinivasan’s nominee, Karnataka association’s Brijesh Patel, to the top post.
Ganguly, however, rated the achievement of Nobel prize winner and fellow Calcuttan Abhijit Banerjee much bigger than his and called it a terrific feat.
“It’s (Nobel prize) a much bigger and terrific achievement. I have not met him (Banerjee) ever. I was reading about him on the flight and what he did … It’s on economics related to poverty. He’s a special person. Hopefully, I will meet him someday,” Ganguly said.