Avishek Dalmiya, son of former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, was appointed the new president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Wednesday. He was elected unopposed and became the youngest CAB president at 38 years of age.
Avishek thus became the 18th president of CAB with his father holding the office for two terms – from 1992-93 to 2006 and then from 2008-09 till his death on September 20, 2015.
The CAB president’s position was lying vacant since Sourav Ganguly became the BCCI president last year and Avishek was elevated to the president’s role. Ganguly’s elder brother Snehasish Ganguly was announced as the new joint-secretary, the post which belonged to Avishek before hi promotion. Snehasish is a former Bengal left-handed batsman, who played 59 First-Class matches scoring over 2500 runs with six hundreds and 11 half-centuries.
“Right from my childhood, I always heard my father saying ‘Eden is a temple of worship’. That sentiment will run with me always,” Avishek said in his first address as CAB president. “He was very passionate about Eden Gardens. It was really emotional that I could sit in this room. I will only be a fool if I compare myself with any of the former CAB presidents. Their statures were different.”
Overwhelmed by his appointment, an emotional Snehasish remembered his playing days before explaining what lies on his agenda. With India scheduled to host back to back World Cup – the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup, Snehasish informed that the Eden Gardens is expected to undergo renewal in the next couple of years.
“It was a dream to play for state and I played for 10-11 years. Yesterday, I was really emotional remembering my playing days. Now as an administrator, we have got a very young team and we are confident to take Bengal cricket forward,” Snehasish, who has been an assistant secretary more than a decade back, said.
“The renewal of the lease of Eden Gardens is due in a couple of years. It takes a lot of time to put things in the right perspective. We would initiate the process soon. Earlier it was for 15 years. With the two global events coming up, we don’t want the issue to be racked up before a global tournament.”
Of the many things on CAB’s new agenda is the introduction of women’s cricket club league, featuring eight teams. Besides, Avishek revealed that a code of conduct will also be formed for players to abide to, which likely stems of the recent controversy surrounding Bengal bowler Ashok Dinda and coach Ranadeb Bose.
“We want to have women’s club league with eight clubs. We also want to introduce the code of conduct of players and support staff. It’s necessary to maintain discipline,” Avishek said. “It’s very important that all of us are together. It’s a matter of great honour to be the CAB president. Cricket is all about team effort and here’s the team that would be working together.”