Sourav Ganguly meets Mamata Banerjee, still non-committal on CAB presidency
Kolkata: Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretary and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday called on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee amidst speculation that he is a top contender to be Jagmohan Dalmiya's replacement as president of the cash-rich CAB.
The former India captain, who arrived at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' with Dalmiya's son Avishek, was closeted with Banerjee for long. Emerging from the parleys, he refused to comment on the speculation but did not quash it too.
"It is very early to comment on this, to discuss something regarding this just days after his death is not right. There will be a lot of speculations, but someone has to run the CAB," Ganguly told mediapersons here.
Speaking about Dalmiya's demise, Ganguly said,"He was very dear to me. From childhood I've grown up before him. He was a very special person to me, I've lost somebody very important."
Avishek said he had come to invite Banerjee to Dalmiya's shraddh (ritual for the dead) which will be held on October 2.
"My father's shraddh will be held on October 2, I came here to invite our chief minister who was constantly by our side even when he (Dalmiya) left us."
Considering the presence of several bigwigs of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress in the CAB affiliate units, Banerjee's support could be crucial for anyone eyeing the prized post.
Ganguly has the best of personal equations with Banerjee, who recently announced that he (Sourav) would host a business reality show ideated by her to showcase entrepreneurial talent in the state.
However, it was unclear whether Ganguly had discussed the issue of the CAB presidency with the chief minister.
After the death of Dalmiya -- a cricket administrator of great stature -- Ganguly is the most widely known cricket personality holding a post in the CAB currently.
But his commitments to television commentary and television shows and relative inexperience in matters regarding cricket administration could tilt the scales against him in the race for the top slot.
CAB trustee board chairman and former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) joint secretary Goutam Dasgupta's name is also being bandied about as a possible candidate for the post.
Dasgupta is learnt to have told his close associates that he is not averse to taking over the job if the majority of the 121 CAB affiliates want him.
Former BCCI vice-president Chitrak Mitra, and former CAB joint secretary Bablu Koley's names are also doing the rounds.
However, if Ganguly throws his hat into the ring, the triumvirate of Dasgupta-Kolay-Mitra may decide to lend their support to him, if only to checkmate their bête-noire, current CAB treasurer Biswaroop Dey, who has a lot of clout among the district units.
Dey, if CAB circles are to be believed, is also trying to consolidate his position to jump into the fray if he finds the situation favourable.