The Indian cricket board president, Anurag Thakur, launched a no-holds-barred attack on his predecessor, Shashank Manohar, on Saturday, accusing the latter of failing to deliver as a BCCI head and instead deserting it at the time of crisis to take over as the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman.
Reacting to Manohar’s media comments that his priority was to take care of ICC’s interests, Thakur said the former left the BCCI when it was waging a battle, especially in the wake of the Justice RM Lodha committee report for root-and-branch reforms.
The BCCI and ICC have been at loggerheads with the influential Indian board opposing the plan for a two-tier Test system on grounds that it would affect the weaker cricket nations. That also spelt the end, at least for the time being, a plan floated by the ICC to get the overseas TV rights of bilateral series and sell it as a bundle. The BCCI has also questioned the money sanctioned by the Manohar-led body to the England board for staging the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Manohar had said: “I have to serve the ICC’s interests because it’s my duty as the independent chairman of the ICC to look at the best interests of the ICC and not to promote the interests of any individual country.” While the BCCI’s anger against Manohar has been made plain this week, Thakur didn’t mince words.
“It doesn’t matter if I am disappointed with the ICC chairman’s statement or not,” Thakur said on the sidelines of the Duleep Trophy final in Greater Noida. “I have to convey the feeling of BCCI members as the president of the board. The member feels today that when the board needed Mr Shashank Manohar as president, he left it in the middle of things. It is like the captain leaving the sinking ship. He was expected to deliver. But nevertheless, what has happened has happened.
“You need to understand one thing, how the ICC constitution got changed. Amendments were made. That time Mr Manohar was in the board. He made certain changes and amendments. As a president of the board, he should have taken into confidence all the members of BCCI. The amendments were made and he became the independent chairman (of ICC). Once he became the independent chairman, he left the BCCI when it needed him the most,” Thakur said.
“In a way, at the back of his mind he was looking for a position to establish himself (in ICC). And I think (BCCI secretary) Mr. Ajay Shirke has raised the issue as well. Today, when he (Manohar) says he has got nothing to do with BCCI, it s the same BCCI that has given him the platform to become ICC Chairman. BCCI is one of the most important stakeholders of the ICC today.”