Kolkata, July 28: Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly Sunday (July 27) began a new innings as a cricket administrator - with his unanimous election to the joint secretary's post at the Cricket Association of Bengal's 83rd annual general meeting here.
At the helm since 1993, barring the period when he was expelled from the BCCI, Jagmohan Dalmiya was also unanimously re-elected as CAB president. Biswarup Dey and Subir Ganguly were too reappointed as the treasurer and joint secretary respectively.
Forced to resign December 2006 following his expulsion from the BCCI on embezzlement charges, the former ICC president had made an incredible comeback to the CAB humbling incumbent Prasun Mukherjee in the 2008 elections.
The AGM virtually saw the annihilation of the opposition faction in the CAB.
Dalmiya's age-old opponent in the CAB - Samar Kumar Paul - who had contested even contested against the presidential elections against the ace administrator in 2012, was elected as one of the three vice presidents.
Ganguly's advent in a new avatar was welcomed by cricket administrators and the playing fraternity.
A talismanic left hand bat during his playing days who captained India to the world cup final in 2003, Ganguly follows in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors and contemporaries like Polly Umrigar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Dilip Vengsarkar, Javagal Srinath, Brijesh Patel, Shivlal Yadav and Anil Kumble who achieved varying degrees of success as cricket administrators.
Welcoming Ganguly into full-time cricket administration, Dalmiya said he was looking forward to work with him as a team.
"When I was the BCCI president, he was the captain. As a team we did well. And I hope this team will again do a great job," he said.
Representing Salkia Friends Association at the AGM, Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, exuded confidence of Ganguly playing a significant role in rearing young talents.
"We all know about his contribution as a cricketer. And hopefully, he will continue to contribute as an administrator and nurture young talents," he said.
The AGM was also marked by the attendance of a host of Trinamool Congress leaders signifying the growing clout of the state's ruling party in the CAB.
Representing various CAB affiliated clubs, the Trinamool leaders expressed dissatisfaction over the electoral process claiming rules and conventions were not properly followed.
But Dalmiya asserted the electoral process was conducted strictly according to the rules.
The veteran sports administrator, however, refused to comment on several of the Trinamool leaders including Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee and MPs Srinjoy Bose and Subrata Bakshi being inducted into the working committee.
"It's a democracy. Anybody is free to join," is what Dalmiya offered to media queries about the Trinamool's rising influence in the CAB.
Besides welcoming Ganguly's foray into sports administration, the Trinamool leaders asserted the presence of politicians would play a big role in endorsing cricket in Bengal.
Ganguly's election after his nomination by CAB affiliate club Barisha Sporting, however, was a foregone conclusion with there being no challenger to his candidacy.
There had been consistent speculation over the past four-five years of Ganguly entering the CAB administration in a big way. But every time the build-up ended in an anti-climax.
However, with Dalmiya - now all of 74 years old - ageing, cricketing circles feel Ganguly's anointment as CAB joint secretary could usher in a new age in the CAB in the coming years, when the former Indian captain is most likely to play a bigger role in the association's affairs.
The 42-year-old Ganguly, however, was not present at the AGM as he is away in England doing television commentary for the India-England series.
Barisha was represented at the AGM by Ganguly's maternal uncle Arup Chatterjee.
In the past, Ganguly has been member of CAB sub-committees like cricket development.
Chairman of the CAB coaching committee, Ganguly earlier roped in bowling legends Waqar Younis and Muttiah Muralitharan for the ambitious 'Vision 2020' programme aimed to make the state a supply line of national team players.