Sourav Ganguly has been invited to be on the World Cricket Committee of the Marylebone Cricket Club. The former Indian Test captain has been approached by ex-England skipper Mike Brearley, who is the chairman of the committee that discusses issues and developments of the game.
Ganguly, who on Sunday was inducted in the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry panel probing allegations of corruption in Indian Premier League 2013, will be the third Indian captain to be on the MCC committee. Ganguly's teammates Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble have served on this elite body that meet twice a year.
Established in 2006, the MCC committee consists former Test captains Steve Waugh, Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Kumar Sangakkara. Among many issues, the committee has discussed the universal implementation of the Decision Review System. India continue to oppose DRS.
MCC was founded in 1787 and its first Code of Laws, the rules that govern cricket, was adopted in May 1788. The club remains the guardian of the spirit of the game today. MCC will celebrate the bicentenary of Lord's on July 5, when a Sachin Tendulkar-led MCC XI will play Rest of the World XI, captained by Shane Warne in a 50-over match.
Meanwhile, Ganguly will play an important role in the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee that is probing allegations of corruption against 13 persons involved with the IPL. These 13 names were submitted by the Mudgal committee in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court in February this year. One of the names if that of BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan.
What will be Ganguly's role? According to senior advocate Nilay Dutta, who is part of the Mudgal panel, Ganguly will be asked to review suspicious cricket 'action' that could have 'deliberately' affected the outcome of a match.
Dutta told a Bengali newspaper that Ganguly will use his experience as an international cricketer to tell the panel whether a particular stroke played or delivery bowled was a spontaneous action or premeditated. "His views will be crucial as Ganguly has to summon all his experience as a cricketer and a commentator in his review," Dutta said.
Justice Mudgal has said that Ganguly will be absolutely free to carry on with his media commitments. Sunil Gavaskar, who was appointed interim BCCI president (IPL affairs) by the Supreme Court, was not allowed to perform his media assignments during the period of the T20 championship. Gavaskar, was of course, suitably compensated.
The Mudgal committee has till August-end to submit its report. The BCCI Annual General meeting is scheduled September end when Srinivasan's one-year extension as BCCI boss will also expire.