Mamata Banerjee. Photo: ANI/File
Kolkata (West Bengal): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday backed former Indian cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly for the chairmanship of the ICC and targetted the Centre for allegedly removing the ex-BCCI chief from the post.
Mamata said that she would have protested even if the Centre "would have done this" with master blaster Sachin Tendulkar as well.
"Sourav Ganguly is from Bengal so can't he be International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman? You removed Sourav Ganguly but retained Jay Shah. If they would've done this with Sachin Tendulkar, then also I would've protested. Today I'm ashamed that there's no representation of India in ICC," the Chief Minister said at the inauguration of Janbazar Sammilita Kali Puja in the city.
Hitting out at the Centre for the move of replacing Ganguly with Roger Binny as the BCCI president, Mamata alleged that the government used its power to not retain him.
"We are really ashamed. Today you did not retain him because you are in power. What will happen in 2024 if you don't come back to power? Sourav also knows this," she said.
Earlier on October 17, Mamata alleged that Ganguly had been "excluded in an unfair way" from another term as BCCI chief and said he should be allowed to contest the ICC election.
Mamata Banerjee said that Ganguly is popular and "not a political party member" and the Centre should not take a "political decision".
"I request PM to make sure Sourav Ganguly must be allowed to contest the ICC election. He's a popular figure which is why he is being deprived. Request GoI not to take a decision politically, but for cricket, sports...He is not a political party member," she said.
"On behalf of all countrymen I say that Sourav Ganguly is our pride, he has skillfully managed his sports and administration career. He was BCCI president. He was excluded in an unfair way; the compensation for it will be to send him to ICC," she said.
She also urged people not to use such firecrackers that can harm others.
"During Kali Puja, don't use firecrackers that can harm others, don't let communal clashes happen; be alert as there's a chance of a cyclonic storm and stay at home if the weather is not good," she said.