After being sacked as the chairman of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it seems that curtains are likely to fall on Anurag Thakur’s marathon innings as Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) chief.
Anurag Thakur was sacked as BCCI president by the Supreme Court for defying Lodha committee recommendations suggesting reforms in cricket, which the apex court approved in July last year.
Anurag, who is the son of former Himachal chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, has been holding the post of HPCA president for the past 16 years. The 42-year-old took over the reins of HPCA at the age of 25 in 2000. He has not faced any opposition within the HPCA which is evident from the fact that he was elected unanimously to the post three out of four times.
According to Lodha panel recommendations, a board official has to undergo a three-year cooling-off period after serving two consecutive terms (each term consisting of three years) in BCCI as well as in state cricket association, which means Thakur will have no option but to quit.
“After Supreme Court order, changes in the state cricketing body are inevitable,” said a HPCA official, adding that there was no other option left.
“However, it needs to be seen how Justice Lodha panel recommendations are implemented by the BCCI,” he said.
“Once the BCCI amends its constitution, and the state associations follow suit, the changes will take place,” said the state cricket body official, adding that it will take a long time.
Meanwhile, sources said most of the HPCA office-bearers will have to step down if the nine-year tenure recommendation is implemented.
Anurag Thakur’s younger brother Arun Dhumal, who is undergoing a cooling-off period after serving as the vice-president of HPCA and former cricketer Virkan Rathore are both being hailed as the possible successors to the post.
Since its formation in 1960, HPCA has seen only four presidents: Sardar Preetpal Singh, Rajinder Zar, Raghubir Singh Thakur and Anurag Thakur.
Anurag is attributed for turning the fortunes of HPCA from a fund-starved cricketing body to a cash-rich organisation and creating what is now one of the most fantastic cricket stadiums in the world, which is located at Dharamshala.