Graeme Smith backs Sourav Ganguly to lead ICC

Smith feels the game of cricket will need a strong leader in the post-COVID-19 era and emphasised that someone like Ganguly who has played the game at the highest level will be an ideal man for the job.

JOHANNESBURG: Former South Africa skipper and current CSA (Cricket South Africa) Director Graeme Smith claimed that Sourav Ganguly will be an ideal candidate to lead ICC in the post-COVID-19 era. Ganguly, who led the Indian cricket team to great heights under his leadership is currently donning the role of BCCI president.

Smith feels the game of cricket will need a strong leader in the post-COVID-19 era. He emphasized that someone like Ganguly who has played the game at the highest level will be an ideal man for the job.

Currently, ICC is headed by former BCCI president Shashank Manohar and his period is set to end this month.

Smith’s comments were backed by CSA CEO Jacques Faul, who also said that South Africa won’t have any objection to an Indian again heading the ICC.

“It is very important to have the right person as head of the ICC. Post-COVID, cricket will need strong leadership and it is time for someone close to the modern game with leadership credentials to get into the position,” said Smith, according to AFP.

“From our perspective, it would be great to see a cricket man like Sourav Ganguly maybe getting into the President’s role of the ICC,” Smith told reporters on Thursday.

“I think that will be good for the game; I think it will be good for the modern game as well. He understands it; he has played it at the highest level; he is respected; and his leadership will be key to us going forward,” Smith, the former Proteas skipper said.

Manohar could get a two-month extension due to current situation. England and Wales Cricket Board’s former chairman Colin Graves was the favourite to succeed Manohar but Smith’s comment has given an interesting lot twist.

Smith further said that Ganguly’s vast knowledge of the game would be helpful if he is the boss of the global cricket body.

“I think leadership in our sport going forward is going to be key and I think having someone at a level that understands the modern game and the challenges we are going to face going forward emphasises more the people that get put into key positions,” Smith said.

“Having dealt with Sourav for a long time, I think that the President of the ICC now becomes a very key position going forward in terms of how the game can progress at the right level.”

It is not the first time when someone put weight on Ganguly’s name as ICC president. Earlier, former England skipper David Gower said that Ganguly has the right “political skills” to lead the ICC one day.

“Ganguly is a very, very good man and has those political skills. He has the right attitude and can keep things together and will do good job. And if you do a good job as BCCI chief in the future, who knows?,” Gower said ahead of “Q20”, a unique chat show for the fans presented by ‘GloFans’.

“But I would actually say the more important job, to be honest, is running BCCI. Being head of ICC is an honour, there is a lot that can be done by ICC, but actually look at the rankings, look at where the power is heading up. BCCI is definitely the bigger job,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ICC boards meeting on May 28 will also discuss a two-month extension for Chairman Shashank Manohar but primarily the focus will be on deciding the fate of 2020 T20 World Cup.

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