Is Sourav Ganguly impacting platoon selection? Then is what BCCI master has to say
Ganguly answered questions on other sensitive issues like the lately- blazoned resumption of the Ranji Jewel in two phases, the still awaited decision on India’s new Test captain, and start of the Women’s IPL.
New Delhi From COVID-19 dislocations to allegations that he has tried to impact pickers to review that not enough has been done for women’s justice during his term, Sourav Ganguly has endured a grueling 26 months as BCCI President.
But in an exclusive interview with PTI, the former India captain not just rejected the allegations thrown at him but also offered a gentle memorial to his critics– much before getting the BCCI master, he was a famed India cricketer and played in a whopping 424 transnational matches, 113 of them Tests.
Steering clear of the drama girding the end of Virat Kohli’s captaincy term, Ganguly answered questions on other sensitive issues like the lately- blazoned resumption of the Ranji Jewel in two phases, the still awaited decision on India’s new Test captain, and start of the Women’s IPL.
He also bared that the India-West Indies T20Is in Kolkata this month will be a” unrestricted- door” affair and laughed when told about enterprise of a possible rift with Board clerk Jay Shah.
Q There have been allegations that you have been impacting the selection commission and you sit in the meetings to put pressure on the pickers?
A I do not suppose I need to answer anybody anything (on this) and deify any of these unwarranted allegations. I’m the chairman of BCCI and I do the job of what the chairman of BCCI should be doing.
Also just to let you know, I see a picture doing the rounds (of social media) showing me sitting in a selection commission meeting.
I want to make it clear, that picture (where Ganguly can be seen sitting with clerk Jay Shah, commander Virat Kohli and common clerk Jayesh George) was not from a selection commission meeting.
Jayesh George is not a part of selection commission meetings. (I’ve played) 424 transnational matches for India. Not a bad idea at times to remind people about it, is not it? ( laughs)
Q How has been your working relationship with Jay Shah in the last 26 months in the Indian justice board?
A I partake a fantastic relationship with Jay. He’s a veritably dear friend and a trusted coworker. Me, Jay, Arun (Dhumal) and Jayesh (George), we’ve each been working together to get the board going in these delicate times especially with COVID-19 in these two times. To make sure that justice happens. I would say it has been a fantastic two times. We’ve each done it as a platoon.
Q What kind of a new Test captain are you looking at after Virat Kohli’s decision to step down?
A Obviously, there are certain parameters of leadership and whoever fits the bill will be the coming Indian Test captain. I believe pickers will have a name in mind and they will bandy it with office- liaisons– President and Secretary– and it’ll be blazoned in due course of time.
Q You had lately said that Rahane and Pujara will be playing Ranji Jewel. But does that mean they can get dropped for Sri Lanka Tests although that’s now pushed to March?
A What I meant was that they will play Ranji Jewel as it starts before the Sri Lanka series. After that, the pickers will take a call. Ranji Jewel Elite group starts in third week of February and Sri Lanka Tests are in March. It’ll fully be the call of selection commission and whatever they decide.
Q When do we see someone like Hardik Pandya back in India fold? At least looking at options available right now, is not the platoon feeling Hardik’s absence?
A Hardik was injured and a break was given to him to fully recover, so that he can continue to serve Indian justice for a long period of time. I believe I’ll see him play some Ranji Jewel to start with.
I anticipate him to drift a lot further overs and his body will get stronger. Also he’s now captain of Ahmedabad IPL and that will be a platform where his form and fitness will be checked by pickers. Consequently, they will take a call.
Q Let’s talk about Ranji Jewel. The BCCI is eventually getting it started but indeed after adding match figure to over to Rs2.4 lakh per game for a certain type, utmost brigades would end up playing only three first- class games. Is not it a fiscal loss and an issue for all stakeholders?
A They’ve played Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali also where the match plutocrat has increased. You have to understand that after we bandied with the medical platoon, it was decided to keep four brigades in a group in a particular megacity as that was the only way we could presumably maintain the saintship of abio-bubble in COVID times.
Further number of individualities in any particular place would increase the rate of infections. That is why venues are more and brigades are less. The time- frame, as we had heldup themid-January launch due to shaft in cases, was also a factor. We’ve to have theU-25,U-19 knock-outs, Women’s T20.
The IPL and Women’s T20 challenge is there. A lot of first- class players would be part of IPL brigades. So it’s a admixture of everything. The BCCI would noway want its first- class players to dodge losses.
Q Why is not BCCI starting the women’s IPL straightaway? Why again a T20 Challenge when a state unit like Hack is having a six platoon 90- player women’s T20 club match?
A We’re at the position of expression to have a full-fledged WIPL. It’s clearly going to be. I explosively believe that coming timei.E. 2023 will be a veritably good time to start a full-fledged women’s IPL which will be as big and grand a success as men’s IPL.
Q IPL is being held in India hopefully. How big a relief will that be?
A Well, as BCCI has always maintained that this is the Indian Premier League and we’d immaculately want to hold it in India. Yes, we have not yet officially blazoned as we’re still tracking the COVID-19 situation in the country. Yes, we’d finalise the venues in some time. The plan is veritably important to hold it in India and we’re preparing consequently.
Q Any special fests for India’s 1000th ODI, which will be against the West Indies on Sunday?
A No, nothing as similar as everything is being held in the bubble. We’ve to maintain the COVID-19 protocols so yeah elaborate fests will not be possible and in any case matches are being held unrestricted doors.
Q The state government has allowed 75 per cent observers at the Eden Auditoriums for the three T20Is. But is not BCCI cautious given Motera is having closed- door ODIs?
A Let me put this on record. We aren’t allowing observers at the Eden Auditoriums for the three T20 Internationals. There won’t be any tickets for general public. The only people allowed are Hack officers and representatives of the colorful units.
In these times, we can not risk the health of the players by allowing observers. No tickets for the daises of Life or Associate members will be issued. Obviously, we’ve the concurrence of West Bengal government but BCCI does not want to risk the health safety of players.