India’s former captain Sourav Ganguly has emerged as the front-runner to take over as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
The development comes as India’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered removal of former BCCI’s president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke over their failure to enact recommended reforms.
In what was being termed as a shock ruling, the Supreme Court order came after judges slapped restrictions on the BCCI’s accounts last year over its failure to implement a series of reforms by a panel headed by a former top judge, Rajendra Mal Lodha.
The three-member panel suggested age and term limits for office-bearers, the formation of a players’ association and a streamlining of the election process.
The reforms, which were submitted before the Supreme Court, also recommended that ministers and government officials not hold office.
The Lodha panel had consulted former India captains Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble as well as journalists, historians and lawyers.
The 44-year-old Ganguly, who represented India in 113 Tests and 311 one-day internationals, is currently serving as president of Cricket Association of Bengal.
Bengal is also one of the few states in India that was willing to implement the reforms.
According to Hindustan Times, the left-handed batsman qualifies for the BCCI president office given he has attended two annual general meetings — one of the criterions required to head the body.
Cricket’s massive popularity in India has helped the BCCI become by far the wealthiest of all of cricket’s national boards, netting massive money from sponsorship and TV deals.