Former India batsman Brijesh Patel is set to become the new president of BCCI ahead of former skipper Sourav Ganguly, a development which yet again provides N Srinivasan control of country’s cricket establishment. Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah will be the new secretary while Arun Dhumal will be the new treasurer. Dhumal is the younger brother of MoS Finance and former BCCI president Anurag Thakur.
Assam’s Debajit Saikia will be the joint secretary as North East gets its first prominent post. The choice was between Ganguly and Patel and after weeks of lobbying and hectic parleys, the latter was finally accepted as a unanimous candidate following an unofficial meeting between representatives of various state associations.
“Yes, Brijesh is the new president while Jay and Arun are secretary and treasurer. Nominations will be filed tomorrow but there will be no elections. Talks are on for IPL chairman and Vice president’s post,” a senior state unit member told PTI after attending a meeting with Anurag Thakur, who acted as a mediator during the meeting of affiliated units.
The 67-year-old Patel had played 21 Tests for India with little success but was a stalwart for Karnataka at the first-class level. He will, however, have one term as he will turn 70 in 2022.
In the new Board, he will be the most experienced member having once served as BCCI joint secretary apart from being former President of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) for a number of years. Patel is a known acolyte of Srinivasan and was his last throw of dice to get control of BCCI back.
There was a strong possibility of Ganguly getting the coveted top job after he met the Home Minister at his residence in New Delhi on Saturday. However, it has been learnt that the former India captain was non-committal in joining the party and campaigning for them in the 2021 state assembly elections. That changed it decisively in favour of Brijesh.
Things changed dramatically after a meeting between Thakur and Srinivasan at former’s residence on late Saturday night.
It was not that Brijesh did not face resistance but support from Thakur made it clear that he had the backing of the government.
When the new office bearers assume office, it will end a 33-month term of the Committee of Administrators, which called shots in running the cricket affairs in-country post-Lodha Committee reforms.