Having risen quickly to the top of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), president Anurag Thakur’s reign was cut short when the Supreme Court removed him and secretary Ajay Shirke from their posts on Monday for not complying with its order to implement administrative reforms in the BCCI.
Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke paid the price for defying the SC order which had been passed in July last year. The Apex Court had accepted most of the recommendations made by the three-member Lodha panel, which had been set up to look into the operations of the BCCI. The Board rejected a few of the recommendations.
At the age of 41, Anurag Thakur had become the second youngest person to lead the BCCI after Fatehsingh Rao Gaekwad, who was 33 when he took charge of the Board in 1963. Before that election in May last year, which made him the 34th president of the BCCI, the 42-year-old had held various posts in the cash-rich sports body.
In September 2011, he was elected joint-secretary in N Srinivasan’s regime. His tenure was marked by his defiance of Srinivasan --- he openly spoke out against the establishment in the aftermath of the corruption scandal which rocked IPL in 2013.
Thakur rose to the secretary’s position in March 2015 before going on to become president.
Given the ages of others in cricket administration, Thakur stood out due to his young age. However, he was no novice. He had been the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president since 2000, when he assumed the role as a 26-year-old.
While he captained Punjab and the North Zone at the age-group level, he played a first-class match for Himachal Pradesh in the 2000-01 Ranji Trophy season. He had a forgettable outing, scoring a seven-ball duck and claiming two wickets in nine overs.
Thakur is alleged to have played in that match only because he wanted to become a junior national selector. The BCCI rules at the time mandated that only those with first-class cricket experience qualified to be selectors.