Iconic cricket star from Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly, has been appointed as the brand ambassador of Tripura tourism.
The BJP leaders described the episode as giving the player his due after Trinamool Congress failed to do so.
“The TMC-led West Bengal Government never gave Sourav Ganguly his due respect … the BJP–led Tripura Government made him their brand ambassador,” BJP State President Sukanta Majumdar said.
The BJP MP also demanded that the former Indian skipper should be appointed the Sheriff of Kolkata.
BJP National vice-president Dilip Ghosh also said the Trinamool Congress had shed “crocodile tears” when Roger Binny replaced Sourav Ganguly as the BCCI president last year but did not really give Sourav Ganguly his due.
“When you have a legend like Sourav Ganguly in your State, why do you need someone else as the State’s brand ambassador,” Dilip Ghosh said in reference to Mamata Banerjee Government earlier naming Shahrukh Khan as West Bengal’s brand ambassador. “TMC never bothered to cater to the emotions of Bengalis in the State,” Dilip Ghosh said.
In a social media post, Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha wrote: “It’s a matter of great pride that former captain of Indian cricket team Sourav Ganguly has accepted our proposal to be the Brand Ambassador of Tripura Tourism.”
On May 23, Tripura Tourism Minister Sushanta Chowdhury confirmed the appointment after meeting Sourav Ganguly at his Kolkata residence.
Sourav Ganguly had enjoyed an excellent personal rapport with leaders from across the party line.
He was once close to CPI-M leader and former Siliguri legislator Ashok Bhattacharya. Speculation about his joining politics reached a crescendo in 2021 when Sourav Ganguly’s name did the rounds before the 2021 assembly polls. The Lotus party leaders were also in touch with him. However, later actor Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP.
On May 7, 2022, Sourav Ganguly hosted Union Home Minister Amit Shah for dinner at his Kolkata home. Sourav Ganguly was BCCI president but later lost the key post to another former star player Roger Binny in October 2022.
Amit Shah’s son Jay also reportedly has a good personal equation with Sourav Ganguly.
Sourav Ganguly was reportedly also close to Marxist doyens Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
In 2022 after he had to move out as BCCI chief, Sourav Ganguly said, “I was a cricketer’s administrator. Yes, you had to make decisions because there’s so much cricket happening, there’s so much money around. There’s women’s cricket, there’s domestic cricket. Yes, you had to take calls at times as an individual”.
But he hastened to add, “You can’t play forever. You can’t be an administrator forever, but it’s been fun doing both and seeing both sides of the coin. I will go for bigger things in future”.
Also affectionately called Dada and Maharaja of Indian Cricket, during his playing career, Sourav Ganguly established himself as one of the world’s leading batsmen and also one of the most successful captains of the Indian National Cricket team.
As captain, he led India to be one of the joint winners of the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy, along with Sri Lanka.
Sourav Ganguly made history as he had the highest score by an Indian batsman in the ICC Champions Trophy with his 141 not out against South Africa in the 2000 tournament.
He led India into the 2003 World Cup final, where they were defeated by Australia. Due to performance issues. He was dropped from the team in the following year. He returned to the National team in 2006 and made successful batting displays. He also became involved in a dispute with Indian team coach Greg Chappell.
Sourav Ganguly was again dropped from the team. However, he was selected to play in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.