President Pranab Mukherjee [ Images ] on Saturday revealed that his name was proposed for the post of Board of Control for Cricket in India [ Images ] (BCCI) Chief in the 1980s but he backed out as he has "never held a bat" and put forward the name of N K P Salve in his place.
Delivering the first N K P Salve Memorial Address at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Mukherjee recalled that some people close to him proposed his name for the BCCI President's post in 1982. But he decided against it as he had never played cricket and did not know much about the sport.
"Though I read some literature on cricket and have watched games, I have never held a cricket bat," Mukherjee said, explaining why he declined.
Mukherjee said he then proposed the name of his friend and fellow Congress leader Salve and the suggestion was accepted.
Salve was BCCI President from 1982 to 1985 and India won its first cricket World Cup in 1983 during his tenure. He was also instrumental in bringing the Cricket World Cup to India and Pakistan in 1987. The two countries had jointly hosted the World Cup that year.
Other than his avid interest in cricket and contribution to the game as an administrator, Salve also served as a member of the Lok Sabha twice and of the Rajya Sabha for four terms till 2002.
Photograph: Simon Dawson/Getty Images