Shashank Manohar’s decision to quit as the International Cricket Council independent chairman has stumped the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but they are not completely surprised with his decision.
Manohar was just 10 months into his two-year tenure before he stepped down on Wednesday.
“This is very shocking because he had big plans to revive the ICC functioning. However, with Manohar, it is quite known that he has the habit to quit in between,” a senior member of the BCCI told Hindustan Times.
“When he came to the BCCI again, he had promised certain things. And when the BCCI needed him the most (to deal with the Supreme Court in the Lodha Committee report implementation), he quit and went to the ICC.
“Now, he has quit from the ICC post as well where he promised some major reforms. It just shows that he cannot be entrusted with big responsibilities,” the BCCI member added.
Shashank Manohar had resigned from the BCCI president’s post and chose the ICC Chairman’s post in May last year. It was at a crucial juncture for BCCI which was fighting Lodha Committee reforms at the Supreme Court.
Senior BCCI officials had criticised the move saying the lawyer-turned cricket administrator from Vidarbha had left the Board at a time when his guidance was needed the most. The BCCI is now under the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators.
After picking up the reins in the ICC, Shashank Manohar had started the process of bringing the game’s governing body back to it old revenue model where the Big Three — India Australia and England — will no longer have the maximum pie of the ICC earnings. Instead, at an ICC board meeting last month he passed under protest from BCCI that ICC’s revenue will be qually distributed among its full members.
Another senior BCCI functionary said Manohar’s resignation is good news for India. “He was anyway anti-India. He has ensured the BCCI is kept away from key committees and ensured the BCCI endured a tough time at the ICC,” said the member.
Vidarbha Cricket Association officials talk about Manohar’s strength being someone who calls a spade a spade, an administrator who believed in transparency.
However, not everyone who has seen him function from close quarters in the BCCI is convinced about his administrative skills.
Not only did Manohar’s team fail to stop the scandals in the IPL, they feel that he didn’t devote the time and energy that the President’s office demanded.
“He didn’t have much expertise for administration. Srinivasan as secretary, used to dominate the meetings. He was mostly in a hurry to get through the meetings,” a BCCI insider had told Hindustan Times soon after Manohar had resigned from the BCCI president’s post.
At BCCI, Manohar was a member of the constitution review committee when the amendment to the BCCI’s constitution to allow its office-bearers to have a stake in IPL was done which led the controversy over Srinivasan’s conflict of interest.
The experts also question the wisdom of other decisions under his leadership, pertaining to action against some IPL teams. The decision to terminate Kochi Tuskers Kerala backfired when the court-appointed arbitrator asked the BCCI to pay the owners of the franchise Rs 550 crore apart from interest for four years.
One of the points against Manohar is his averseness to embrace technology. He had admitted he doesn’t know how to switch on a computer while defending himself against allegations that he had mail correspondence with the suspended former Board official, Lalit Modi.