Former Indian skipper and current President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Sourav Ganguly lauded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for providing the budding Indian cricketers the best of facilities to help develop their game and believes the athletes from other sports disciplines can bring laurels to the country on a consistent basis if provided with similar training facilities.
Heading into the 2016 Rio Olympics with their largest ever contingent, hopes were high that Indian would surpass the tally of six medals achieved at the 2012 Olympics. However, it proved to be a disappointing campaign with only badminton player PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik returning with medals as other much-fancied athletes wilted under the pressure of expectations.
While cricket enjoys wide backing from the sponsors as well as the sponsors, no doubt helped by the success it has achieved on the field over the years, the 44-year-old believes that BCCI has done a commendable job in setting up facilities all across the country that has helped aspiring youngsters hone their skills in the game.
Speaking to reporters after being unveiled as the face of the Kolkata 25k run to be held on December 18, Ganguly believes that sportspersons from other disciplines will also benefit a great deal if they are given similar backing by their respective sports associations.
"The reason why we have done well in cricket is because the BCCI has been able to give us great facilities,” he said. "We have world-class stadia all over India be it in a small centre like Ranchi. One running event won't produce a champion overnight. You give them facilities and infrastructure, I can guarantee you they will become world beaters in 10 years time,"
Revealing his plans for the second Test between India and New Zealand which will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata, the CAB president, who confirmed that the installation of the Lord’s like bell will be completed in time for the match, said that he is lining up a number of programs to make the match a memorable one for the fans.
"The Eden is ready and we are doing our best to get crowds in large numbers. To begin with, the Eden will host a talk show of former cricketers VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag and there are a host of other events lined up," Ganguly said.
Ganguly backs BCCI’s stand on India-Pakistan bilateral ties
Reacting to BCCI President Anurag Thakur’s comments on Friday where he stated that a bilateral series between India and Pakistan was out of the question following the Uri terror attacks, Ganguly backed the stand claiming that cricket should not be played unless cross-border killings are stopped.
“Terrorism is an issue and you can't play cricket (with Pakistan) when people are getting killed at the borders,” Ganguly told India Today.