Kolkata, Jul 8: Eight months after he retired from international cricket, Sourav Ganguly is all set to launch a new innings that could well see him anointed the BCCI president in five year's time.
Please don't dismiss this as a mere birthday wish of a left-handed stylist, who is celebrating his 37th birthday on Wednesday.
This is a realistic possibility that no one is prepared to rule out. In fact, many in the BCCI are open to the idea of Sourav becoming the BCCI president in 2014 when it is East Zone's turn to put up a candidate for the top job, for it would necessarily mean the end of the Jagmohan Dalmiya era.
Of course, conditions do apply and the odds against him are tall, but when has that bothered the bespectacled leader who has made a career out of proving critics wrong? Sourav, for one, has made up his mind to enter the domain of cricket administration.
"I am convinced that I can play a positive role," Sourav told TOI in course of an exclusive interview at his Behala residence. "Having played the game at the highest level and being part of the system, I know what it takes to make a difference," he added.
The entry point for Sourav has to be the CAB, his home association that is in a state of rut under the once powerful Dalmiya. Rumours are rife that Dalmiya's rivals have all but convinced Sourav to contest the CAB polls later this month. However, Sourav is not prepared to rush into it.
"At some point, I will find a way to get into the CAB where people have known me since I was a kid. I have respect for them and I am sure they will appreciate my concern for Bengal cricket and the difference I can make. I am in no hurry," Sourav said.
To get into the CAB, of course, he has to beat Dalmiya at his own game. Sourav is well aware that it took Dalmiya's foes in the BCCI close to 15 years to throw him out. Sourav's supporters reckon that under Dada's leadership, the task of capturing the CAB can be achieved in a much smaller time frame.
Unless he is convinced about the numbers on his side in a 121-strong vote bank, Sourav will not jump into the poll fray this time around. He would rather wait and watch for another year. It suits him because it still leaves him with enough time to meet all the criteria to contest for BCCI's top post.
Suggest that to Sourav, and he laughs. "It's a possibility, but right now I am not looking that far ahead. I intend to take it step by step. Five years is a long time...," sighed the man who could well be the most powerful man in world cricket by the time he celebrates his 40th birthday.