N Srinivasan was on Monday dethroned as the ICC chairman after the Indian cricket board decided to recall him, ending the Chennai strongman’s iron grip over a sport hit by a barrage of spot fixing and conflict of interest scandals.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nominated its newly-appointed chief Shashank Manohar to take over as ICC chairman until India’s term ended next June, the first step in cleaning up a game whose credibility has been left in tatters in recent years.
The decision to remove Srinivasan was taken at the BCCI’s 86th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai, virtually signalling the end of his hold on Indian cricket.
Former global cricket chief, Sharad Pawar, was named as India’s alternative representative at the board’s first annual general meeting since Manohar took over in October.
Under pressure to improve the game’s battered image before the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee recommended reforms next month, the body also removed other key figures facing conflict-of-interest allegations.
Former skipper Ravi Shastri was removed as an Indian Premier League governing council member, his then team mate Roger Binny was dropped as a national selector while spin great Anil Kumble was replaced by Sourav Ganguly as chairman of the board’s technical committee.
“The BCCI representative to the ICC will be Mr. Shashank Manohar,” secretary Anurag Thakur said. “Since the BCCI makes the nomination, he will take over as the ICC chief.”
The AGM also trimmed the board’s bloated sub-committees and appointed retired Delhi high court chief justice, AP Shah, as its ombudsman, to deal with conflict-of-interest cases.
An ultimatum was also issued to Delhi that has been lagging in preparations in the run-up to the final Test against South Africa, starting on December 3. If Ferozeshah Kotla is not ready by November 17, the match will go to Pune, announced as one of the six new Test venues. Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Indore, Dharamsala and Rajkot are the others.
Once the most powerful man in world cricket, Srinivasan paid the price for not taking strong action as the BCCI chief when the spot-fixing saga hit the cash-rich IPL’s 2013 edition.
His troubles increased after the SC-appointed Mukul Mudgal panel found his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, an official of IPL team Chennai Super Kings, guilty of illegal betting.
In 2014, the top court asked Srinivasan to step aside as the BCCI chief after repeated allegations of conflict of interest over his ownership of CSK -- whose parent company India Cements he heads -- but the Chennai industrialist refused to give up his position as the global body chief.
He was also accused of shielding Meiyappan, who was slapped with a life ban along with Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra. CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the league for two years.
The BCCI made two changes to the national selection panel. Former India wicketkeeper MSK Prasad replaced Binny and former batsman Gagan Khoda came in for Rajinder Singh Hans from the Central Zone. Former India pacer and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad will head the junior selection panel.
Rajeev Shukla retained his post as IPL chairman and comprised the IPL governing council along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Shirke, MP Pandove and Sourav Ganguly. The body has been reduced from 23 members to five.
Manohar took over after veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya’s death in September and has been faced with several challenges, especially in shoring up IPL’s bruised image.
The big-ticket tournament brought glamour and big bucks to Indian cricket but has been mired in controversy since May 2013 when fast bowler S Sreesanth and two of his teammates from the Rajasthan franchise were arrested by Delhi Police on charges of spot fixing, or influencing the outcomes of parts of a match in exchange for money.