MUMBAI: World Cup winner Roger Binny was on Tuesday appointed head of India’s cricket board – the world’s richest cricket body – and will replace Sourav Ganguly after three years at the top, the board’s vice-president said.
Binny, 67, was elected president at a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai, where secretary Jay Shah won another term in office, Rajeev Shukla told reporters.
The BCCI, which has a net worth reported at $2 billion, enjoys significant clout internationally in cricket but has been in chaos and there have been a slew of court cases involving the cash-rich body.
Bangalore-born Binny, who was part of India’s historic 1983 World Cup-winning squad, steps into the shoes of Ganguly, widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest captains.
Ganguly, 50, had initially been tipped to earn a second term as president but reports said he was shunted out because he refused to join India’s ruling party.
Ganguly’s political allegiance has been a regular source of media speculation, especially after the country’s Home Minister Amit Shah, father of BCCI secretary Jay, visited him at home earlier this year.
Politicians from Ganguly’s home state of West Bengal – where the former player enjoys near-godlike status – alleged that the former batsman was forced out.
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been pushing hard to win power in the eastern state, falling short in elections marred by deadly violence last year.
Ganguly’s departure was a “political vendetta” by the government, opposition lawmaker Santanu Sen said on Twitter.
Shah’s Hindu nationalist BJP has denied any involvement in Ganguly’s ouster and accused their opponents of politicising the issue.
Ganguly has not spoken publicly on his departure but reports said he had been hoping to continue, especially after India’s top court recently relaxed a rule that barred sporting officials from consecutive terms in office in the same position.