Kolkata, Oct 15 (IANS) Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on Thursday officially took over as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and promised to revamp the iconic Eden Gardens ground in three months.
Addressing the media, minutes after his unanimous election to the top post at a Special General Meeting (SGM), Ganguly declared his focus would be on providing a transparent administration.
He also said there were plans to hold new tournaments and revitalise junior cricket.
“In the last 20 years I have travelled over the world and I know what kind of infrastructure is there in world class stadiums. I can guarantee you in the next three months Eden Gardens will have such infrastructure,” he said.
“We are already making an effort and the BCCI curator will fly in here in some time,” said Ganguly, who replaced cricket czar Jagmohan Dalmiya, who died on September 20.
Completing the change of guard, Dalmiya’s son Avishek was also elected unopposed as joint-secretary, a post held by Ganguly from July last year till recently before he resigned ahead of the SGM.
Terming Avishek as the vice captain, Ganguly said: “We need to work as a team to make it transparent…we have already thought of new tournaments and now we have to execute our plans well.”
Ganguly also said that the association’s image is of prime importance to him.
“It’s about having the best here. You will be here if you deliver. More than anything it is the association’s image, respect and prestige is at stake. It’s not above anyone, whether it’s Ganguly, Avishek or X, Y, Z,” he said.
Ganguly also said he would not try and fill in the shoes of Jagmohan Dalmiya, but instead work in his own style.
Speaking about his feelings after taking over as the state cricket association president, Ganguly termed it a “new challenge”.
“It helps you when you have knowledge of the game, and me having had the little experience in administration will help me. Our entire focus will be on the 22 yards and providing the best possible facilities,” he said.
Describing Dalmiya as a father figure, Ganguly said he would try to take his work forward.
“As an administrator I have only seen Jagmohan Dalmiya closely. He was a father figure. It is a proud moment for me but I did not want to take this job up under such circumstances (referring to the passing away of Dalmiya). We will try and take his work forward.”
Ganguly said his team would also focus on making the World Twenty20 final to be held at the Eden Gardens on April 3 next year a success.
He said the CAB needed remodelling.
“Every infrastructure needs remodelling. Even your offices. The CAB is no exception,” he said.
Comparing his CAB presidency with captaining a team, he said: “Back then I used to lead a squad of 15, now I have to deal with 121 (affiliated units).”
Ganguly also said CAB has plans to revitalise junior cricket where young kids will be groomed from the age of 8-9 so that they turn world beaters by 15.
“CAB has both the money and the infrastructure to do that,” the 43-year-old said.
Avishek said he would be fool comparing himself to his father.
“There are plenty of things he (Dalmiya) wanted to take forward. We will try and implement those, so that young kids come forward to play. One of the other issues is the World T20 final and then there is the IPL as well. Then in domestic circuit we have to think of how to improve Bengal’s performance, these are a chain of activities which we would have to undertake religiously,” he said.
Asked about working alongside Ganguly, Avishek said: “It’s nothing new. He has been by my side since birth. Whenever I have had problems I have turned to him for solutions.”