The BCCI has once again turned to its most seasoned administrator to turn things around for the second time – Shashank Manohar . The widely respected Shashank Manohar was unanimously elected president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) succeeding veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya who died last month. The Nagpur-based lawyer, 58, was anointed to arguably the most powerful job in world cricket at a special general body meeting of the BCCI at its headquarters in Mumbai. Manohar took over the post at the Board’s Special General meeting which lasted less than half an hour He was the only candidate left in the fray for the election in which the deadline for filing nomination ended last evening.
A close confidante of former BCCI , ICC and current MCA president Sharad Pawar, Manohar was the consensus candidate of the Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley factions in the BCCI. Manohar was initially reluctant to take up the reins but was convinced to take the mantle after getting full support from one of the Board’s most respected voices though not part of it fully – senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley’s support being a legal eagle and whose voice carries lot of weight sealed the deal for Manohar. With backing of two powerful factions it was a forgone conclusion that Manohar would be elected unopposed .
The election was necessitated by the sudden demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya, who had a short term of seven months after his election in March this year. Dalmiya was made the interim President when Srinivasan “stepped aside” in the wake of revelations that his son-in-law was involved in betting during the 2013 IPL season.
All the six units of East Zone unanimously proposed Manohar’s candidature for the president’s post, reflecting Srinivasan’s diminishing hold in Board’s power politics. “A lot of important people have led BCCI in the past and Manohar has also done it quite well. I am sure he will do a good job,” Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who has been named to succeed Dalmiya as Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president, told reporters.
“I’m sure under Shashank Manohar’s able leadership, cricket will grow with every passing day,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said. Manohar’s unanimous election reflects former chief N Srinivasan’s diminishing hold in the board’s power politics. His annointment also means that Srinivasan now has little chance of coming back into the BCCI fold till 2017, when the Vidarbha man’s tenure ends.
Manohar has the responsibility to guide the BCCI to its stable self after a troubled era under Tamil Nadu strongman Srinivasan whose tenure was marked by acrimony within and outside the board’s portals. The 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal that singed Srinivasan, following his son-in-law and IPL team Chennai Super Kings’s former principal Gurunath Meiyappan being found guilty of betting on the T20 League games, led to the Supreme Court sidelining him from holding the reins of the BCCI.
“In last few days the confidence of cricket loving fans has shaken due to certain unpleasant things that have happened,” Manohar said at a press conference after his election.“But leaving them behind, it’s now duty of all board members to build the reputation of this board.” “We want to restore the faith of fans that cricket is clean,” Manohar said.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said all the six associations from the east zone nominated Manohar for the president’s post and no other nomination was received. “I congratulate Manohar. We will all wait for the formal meeting to happen. It will be one agenda for the meeting,” he said. Thakur said he is sure Manohar will take over for the good of the board.
“After the demise of Dalmiya, it was very important to continue the reforms which had taken place in BCCI in the last six months. We have seen the previous tenure of Manohar where his work has been appreciated by all and we believe under his leadership, the BCCI will continue the reforms that has been taken place. I personally feel the experience he has as an administrator, it is going to benefit the BCCI,” he said.