Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly is all set to become the new President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) unopposed, seemingly pipping former India batsman, Brijesh Patel to the post.

Ganguly’s first statement to the media on his appointment already signalled the goals he hoped to achieve in his tenure. “We will speak to everyone first as we take a decision but my biggest priority will be to look after first-class cricketers,” he told PTI. “That’s the first thing I will do, look after the financial health of our first-class cricketers.

Never one to mince his words, Ganguly added, “I had requested the same to the CoA for three years but they did not listen.”

The ‘Prince of Bengal’ has often been lauded for identifying capable young talents, ones who can make an impact at the top level. Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh - all legends in their own right, often talk about how pivotal Ganguly was in giving them the opportunities and confidence to perform.

Ganguly’s arrival at the top post may just be the boon that consistent performers at the domestic level were looking for. In recent years, the Indian team has often been accused of looking inwards and rewarding Indian T20 League performances more than the ones in domestic tournaments.

Rohit Sharma’s promotion to open the innings in Tests is the best example of this. With KL Rahul floundering, Shikhar Dhawan axed and Murali Vijay’s loss of form, there was a dire need of a solid opener in the Indian Test team.

Rohit, whose career turned around after he was asked to open in ODIs, was promoted to the top of the order with the Indian think-tank hoping he would replicate his limited-overs performances to red-ball cricket in a position familiar to him.

While he has had the best possible start in his debut Test as an opener (scoring 176 and 127); there lies an issue. Far more consistent red-ball openers in domestic cricket were left by the wayside. Priyank Panchal and Abhimanyu Easwaran - opening for Gujarat and Bengal, respectively, have been plundering the runs in the Ranji Trophy for the past couple of seasons.

Panchal’s breakthrough year came in the 2016-17 season, when he racked up 1310 runs in the season, helping Gujarat win their first Ranji title. In 2017-18, he scored 542 runs while he ended up with 898 runs in 2018-19.

Abhimanyu Easwaran, on the other hand, came to the limelight in 2017-18, when he scored 564 runs before following it up with a brilliant haul of 861 runs in the 2018-19 season.

Even Mayank Agarwal, Rohit’s partner at the top currently, was handed a Test debut only after Prithvi Shaw was injured, despite ending up with 1160 runs in the 2017-18 Ranji season.

With Ganguly at the helm, players like Panchal, Easwaran, and Shahbaz Nadeem may yet harbour hopes of an India call-up, which may, in turn, get more eyeballs for the Ranji Trophy, which has been the wilderness where many a talent goes to waste.

Read: Will Sourav Ganguly's appointment worry Ravi Shastri?

Feature Image Courtesy: AFP / Indranil Mukherjee