CHENNAI: The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) will have Sourav Ganguly’s elder brother Snehasish as its new secretary. The association in its special general meeting in Kolkata on February 5 will also elect Avishek Dalmiya as president, to fill up the gap left by Sourav, who has had to vacate his seat in the state unit after being elected to the top post of the BCCI in October.
Snehasish will succeed Dalmiya in the secretary’s chair. It will mark a rare occasion in Indian cricket administration when a board president’s brother will hold a senior post in a state body at the same time. That these developments were on the cards was reported by this newspaper on November 5. True to indications back then, both will be elected unopposed.
While Dalmiya’s elevation to the position his late father Jagmohan occupied for many years was predictable, Snehasish’s path was not as smooth initially. The rival faction had thought of putting up a candidate against him, but backed off after realising the weight of the surname would tilt the balance in his favour. CAB old-timers reckon family background has played a part in the elections of both Dalmiya and Snehasish. A former left-handed batsman who played 59 first-class matches, Snehasish increases the number of former players in administration at the moment.
Other than Sourav, Mohammad Azharuddin (president of Hyderabad) and Roger Binny (president of Karnataka) as former internationals, Jaydev Shah (president of Saurashtra) played first-class for a long time. Sanjeev Rao (secretary of Madhya Pradesh) and Devajit Saikia (secretary of Assam) also represented their states. Snehasish will not be the only one from the Ganguly family in the CAB. Their uncle Debasish is already the treasurer of the association.
If this raises conflict of interest doubts, people in the know point to rules which don’t say that a BCCI president’s brother or relatives can’t hold positions in state associations. This also means that families continue to hold sway in several state associations. Other than Bengal, relatives or sons and daughters of former office-bearers are holding positions in the associations of Tamil Nadu, Saurashtra, Odisha and Baroda. It can also be noted that BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal is the bother of former president Anurag Thakur.