Days after some of Trinamool Congress (TMC) party members alleged that Ganguly was being targetted by the BJP-ruled central government, the Bengal CM on Monday (October 17) claimed that the former India cricketer is being treated unfairly by the union government and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the outgoing BCCI president to contest in the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) election.
“On behalf of all countrymen I say that Sourav Ganguly is our pride, he has skillfully managed his sports & administration career. He was BCCI president. He was excluded in an unfair way; the compensation for it will be to send him to ICC,” Banerjee said while interacting with the media in Kolkata.
“I request PM to make sure Sourav Ganguly must be allowed to contest the ICC election. He’s a popular figure which is why he is being deprived. Request GoI not to take a decision politically, but for cricket, sports… He is not a political party member,” the CM added further.
Taking strong exception to Banerjee’s remarks, the BJP MP from Bengal Suvendu Adhikari hit back soon after and suggested the Trinamool Congress chief should first remove Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador of Bengal and appoint Ganguly.
“Mamata Banerjee should remove Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador of West Bengal and appoint Sourav Ganguly as brand ambassador. Why has she realised his greatness so late? She should not do politics on this,” said Adhikari on Banerjee’s appeal to the PM.
“She should know that the prime minister does not intervene in cricket administration,” he added.
Ganguly is set to be replaced by former India cricketer and ex-selector Roger Binny as the new board president. It was also reported that Ganguly, the legendary India skipper, said that he will be back at the helm of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) once his tenure as BCCI chief ends.
Before taking over the reign of the BCCI, Ganguly was the CAB President and just days after saying, that one cannot be in administration forever, the outgoing BCCI chief told PTI that he will be contesting CAB polls.
Ganguly, who had to step down from the BCCI president’s post as there is no precedence of anyone continuing in the top job for more than three years, had been the CAB president for four years between 2015 to 2019 before coming to the BCCI.