Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday met chief minister Mamata Banerjee amid intense speculation that he may be Jagmohan Dalmiya's replacement as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, but refused to comment on whether he is in the race.
Ganguly, who is a joint secretary of the CAB, arrived at the state secretariat along with Dalmiya's son Avishek and held an hour-long meeting with the chief minister.
The former India captain, however said it was too early to comment on whether he would be a candidate for the president's post.
"To discuss something like this (three days after his death) is not right. Speculation will be on, someone will run CAB. It's too early to comment because it has just been three days... It's very early to say," Ganguly told reporters after his meeting.
Condoling Dalmiya's demise, Ganguly said: "I've lost someone very dear. I've grown up before him since childhood. I had a very personal relation with Dalmiya... He was very special to me, I've lost very important person."
Dalmiya's concluding ritual (shraddh) will be held on October 2 and Avishek said he had come to invite the chief minister.
"On October 2 my father's shraddh ceremony will be held. I went to invite the chief minister who gave outstanding support to us even after he (Dalmiya) left us. She gave us a lot of respect. I went there to express my gratitude," Avishek said.
It's not clear whether Ganguly had gone there to garner support but there's intense speculation over the high profile meeting, three days after the demise of Dalmiya who died of massive cardiac arrest at a private nursing home Sunday.
But it remains to be seen whether the former India captain, who's a newcomer into the cricket administration, is really able to make it with CAB consisting of 121 affiliated units. It's believed Ganguly is not an unanimous choice among a group of members as heavyweights like Chitrak Mitra, Gautam Dasgupta, TMC senior leader Subrata Mukherjee maybe eyeing the hot seat.