Avishek Dalmiya and Snehasish Ganguly were on Wednesday elected unopposed as the Cricket Association Bengal (CAB) president and secretary respectively.
The 38-year-old Avishek became the youngest CAB president, a position which lay vacant after former India captain Sourav Ganguly took over as the BCCI chief. Ganguly”s elder brother Snehasish became secretary.
Son of late cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, Avishek is the 18th president of the CAB. He will be in office till the first week of November 2021 after which he has to go in for a mandatory cooling off period as per the BCCI constitution. He became the joint secretary of CAB in October 2015.
“It is indeed a matter of great honour to be the President of The Cricket Association of Bengal and I thank each and every member for their kind support,” Avishek said after taking office.
“Off the field too, cricket is all about team effort and we would try to ensure that we function well as a team. Therefore, we would look forward to receiving similar support from the members and former international players in the days ahead.
“I have always heard from my childhood that Eden Gardens is a temple and a place of worship and I would maintain similar sentiments throughout my tenure,” he said.
Among others, former Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) media manager Ravi Jain congratulated him, saying it was a great honour to work with Jagmohan Dalmiya and he is sure that Avishek will continue the legacy.
An emotional Avishek said he cannot compare himself with past CAB presidents which included his father and Ganguly.
“I can”t compare myself to former CAB presidents as their stature was different. This is an emotional moment for me that I will be sitting in his (Jagmohan Dalmiya”s) room.”
Outlining his plans, he stressed on indoor facility at Eden Gardens and making it functional within the next month. He also said there will be a Code of Conduct initiated for the players and support staff.
Recently, senior Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda misbehaved with bowling coach Ranadeb Bose and was suspended from the Ranji team.
Ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup and 2023 50-over World Cup, Avishek said “necessary work needs to be executed”.
“It would include sand based ground for even better drainage, upgraded media centre and renovation of Club House. There would be provisions for four dressing rooms to ensure back to back matches are held without any hindrance,” he said.
CAB will have its own Age Verification Cell, preparing a blueprint/programme for Vision 2025 by involving former players from Bengal and taking their inputs in taking Bengal cricket forward, a strong fitness drive for the Bengal players and starting a Women”s Club League with at least eight clubs.
“CAB would also take up certain matters with the BCCI. They include revision of the Ranji Trophy Point Structure, use of floodlights during bad light for Elite Group matches, issues relating to registration window of players, clarities on usage of ground covers amongst others,” Avishek said.
“The Association had already taken up the issue of bringing back the concept of catchment Areas in IPL at the BCCI AGM and the same would be discussed again. Viability of having special sessions for emerging players at NCA would also be requested.”
Snehasish was also emotional and recalled his playing days.
“It was a dream to play for the 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.
President: Avishek Dalmiya, vice-president: Naresh Ojha, Secretary: Snehashish Ganguly, Joint Secretary: Debabrata Das, Treasurer: Debashish Ganguly.