Seldom has the Indian cricket Board fretted over an outgoing official. Although jockeying is bound to start in right earnest for the top post, for the first time, Shashank Manohar’s resignation as president has left the beleaguered organisation in some uncertainty.
The 58-year-old lawyer from Nagpur came on board in October to specifically salvage the image of the Board, hit by events following the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. Manohar did set in motion changes that brought in accountability and transparency, as recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee.
A day after Manohar’s resignation, with the administrator likely to contest for the position of the International Cricket Council’s first independent chairman, former administrators and legal experts were divided over what impact his exit will have on the future of the BCCI and the case it is battling in the Supreme Court.
Former BCCI treasurer, Kishore Rungta, said that had Manohar stayed on as president during this period of turbulence, he would have solved many issues for the Board.
“There is uncertainty reigning now that he has quit. If uncertainty prevails, it will definitely cause problems,” he said.
However, Rungta felt Manohar, despite his legal background, could have done little to prevent widespread changes that the Supreme Court is expected to order. “The Supreme Court will ensure that these changes take place,” he said.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, who has campaigned for greater transparency in sports, said Manohar was only relatively better than other BCCI office-bearers. “(The resignation) does not impact BCCI at all. The board needs to reform. Unless and until the constitution, the electoral college, BCCI’s way of concealing things, changes and the Board becomes transparent and accountable, these individuals don’t matter,” he said.
Mehra said while Manohar was perceived as a clean administrator, he was still a part of the problem and not the solution. “They all are the same. What did Manohar do which others didn’t?
Some people think he is better than others. It’s a systemic issue. Somebody might be slightly better than the others. That does not mean he has done anything substantial to ensure there is transparency and accountability,” Mehra added.