Speculation is rife about Sourav Ganguly’s participation in the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) elections later this month.
People backing him, however, say it’s highly unlikely this year although they don’t rule out the possibility of Ganguly throwing his hat into the ring in 2010.
Those opposing CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya told HT that chances of Ganguly taking on his erstwhile ‘mentor’ this time are “extremely” slim. “We are trying to mount a challenge, but doing so this year seems difficult,” said a prominent opposition member on condition of anonymity.
Sourav’s elder brother and former Bengal batsman Snehasish too refused to confirm that Sourav would be contesting. “As of now, I can’t say anything about Sourav getting involved in the elections. If there is anything, we will announce it later this week.”
Speaking in Mumbai, Ganguly said: “I want to be a part of cricket in Bengal. I will take one step at a time, don’t know what lies ahead.” If Ganguly wants to be part of the BCCI, he will have to start through the CAB.
Ganguly made his displeasure against Dalmiya clear in 2006 when he favoured former city commissioner of police, Prasun, Mukherjee, in the CAB polls and lost. It’s true that people opposing Dalmiya are trying to ride piggyback on Ganguly but they are unsure of the support they are going to get. “The equations as of now look loaded in favour of Dalmiya. If we have to uproot him, it will require a concerted effort which looks unlikely, given the time we have,” said an opposition member. Dalmiya, who is in New Delhi on a business trip, refused to say much. “I have heard about it (Ganguly against him)... anyone is free to contest elections... I don’t have anything to say about this.”
People in Dalmiya’s camp sounded confident of handling the opposition, if any. “Let them contest the polls. We are confident of taking them on and winning,” said a current office-bearer.
In the middle of all this comes the news that on Friday, Ganguly will inaugurate a coffee shop set up by a member of the Dalmiya family here. In the run-up to such elections, often nothing is what is what it seems.