Former BCCI president late Jagmohan Dalmiya’s son Avishek on Wednesday became the youngest president of the Cricket Association Bengal at the age of 38 after being elected unopposed.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s elder brother Snehasish Ganguly, a former Bengal left-hander, is the new joint secretary, a post that has been vacated by Dalmiya junior before his elevation.
The CAB president’s post was lying vacant after former India captain Sourav Ganguly took over the reins of BCCI. However Avishek will go for a cooling-off period from November 6, 2021 as per the Lodha recommended Constitution giving him a tenure of about 22 months.
Avishek thus became the 18th president of CAB with his father holding the office for two terms. Looking dapper in a blue suit, CAB tie, Avishek turned emotional taking charge of the same chair where his father sat in his two terms in office from 1992-93 to 2006 and then from 2008-09 till his demise on September 20, 2015.
“Right from my childhood, I always heard my father saying ‘Eden is a temple of worship’. That sentiment will run with me always,” Avishek said in his first address as CAB president. “He was very passionate about Eden Gardens. It was really emotional that I could sit in this room. I will only be a fool if I compare myself with any of the former CAB presidents. Their statures were different.”
BCCI president Ganguly, who had an evening flight to catch to London, also came to greet Avishek with his daughter Sana. Snehasish also turned emotional and recalled his playing days after taking charge of the office.
“It was a dream to play for state and I played for 10-11 years. Yesterday, I was really emotional remembering my playing days. Now as an administrator, we have got a very young team and we are confident to take Bengal cricket forward,” Snehasish, who has been an assistant secretary more than a decade back, said.
With India set to host two global events — T20 World Cup (2021) and ODI World Cup (2023) — in three years’ time, the priority for the new CAB president would be to renew the Eden Gardens lease with the Ministry of Defence.
“The renewal of the lease of Eden Gardens is due in a couple of years. It takes a lot of time to put things in the right perspective. We would initiate the process soon. Earlier it was for 15 years. With the two global events coming up, we don’t want the issue to be racked up before a global tournament.”
The CAB is also planning to introduce an eight-team women’s club league and code of conduct for players.
“We want to have women’s club league with eight clubs. We also want to introduce a code of conduct of players and support staff. It’s necessary to maintain discipline,” Avishek said.
The idea of introducing a code of conduct comes in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda who was found abusing bowling coach Ranadeb Bose early this season.
Avishek addressed the media interaction with his five-member team of Snehasish, joint-secretary Debabrata (Debu) Das, treasurer Debasish Ganguly, and vice-president Naresh Ojha. “It’s very important that all of us are together. It’s a matter of great honour to be the CAB president. Cricket is all about team effort and here’s the team that would be working together.”
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