Fast bowing legend Shoaib Akhtar has hailed the impending appointment of former rival Saurav Ganguly as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and compared him to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“This is a massive and a welcome news,” said Akhtar in a YouTube video. “India is playing very smart. They are bringing their A-class people to the forefront.
“If there was one man who transformed Indian captain, it was Saurav Ganguly. Before him, in 1996 and 1998, I never felt that India could have beaten Pakistan.
“The minute he became the captain, many new faces came in and a powerful setup formed. He changed the mentality of Indian cricket.
‘Ganguly shares a trait with Imran’
Akhtar said that Ganguly’s style of leadership had a lot in common with Pakistan’s World Cup-winning skipper and current premier.
“He (Ganguly) had a common trait with Imran Khan,” said the Rawalpindi Express. “He trusted new faces and had an eye for talent. Our prime minister had the same quality. Ganguly was the same.
The former speedster recalled his old battles with Ganguly, again clarifying that contrary to popular belief his Indian counterpart was not afraid of him.
“Lots of people would think that just because I hit him several times he was scared of me, but this is a misunderstanding. He could not hook or pull me which was a drawback for him but this is wrong to say that he was afraid of me. If that was the case then he’d have never opened against me,” he explained.
‘International game will thrive with Dada heading BCCI’
Akhtar said with Ganguly in charge of the BCCI, he expects the global game to thrive, and the revival of Test cricket as well as the art of fast bowling.
“I want international cricket to thrive with Saurav at the BCCI’s helm. I want him to make his mark in international cricket. I expect to see Test cricket revived and I want to have some relaxations for fast bowlers,” he added.