Anurag Thakur has become the youngest BCCI president in independent India. Thakur has taken over the reins of the world’s richest cricket body of the world at a time it is fighting an existential battle against the Supreme Court of India as the apex court-monitored justice RM Lodha committee recommended an administrative reform.
The current scenario will be a difficult task for Thakur, a three-time Lok Sabha MP from GImachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district as he is expected to be in office until September 2017 and turbulent times lie ahead for him in near future.
In case the Lodha Committee recommendations are implemented, Thakur will have to wait for three years as a mandatory cooling off period.
This makes it really interesting with Thakur in the Hot Seat as he will have to engineer a rapid transformation in BCCI’s working process post-Supreme Court verdict.
But Thakur son of two-time former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is a career politician and will bring in his distinct administrative style that is not exactly same as hi immediate predecessors N Srinivasan and Shashank Manohar.
Not to forget a he is a combative character, who loves a good scrap and was one of the rarest BCCI officials who had gone on record, asking the erstwhile president N Srinivasan to step down from his post after the match-fixing scandal broke out.
The biggest task of Thakur will be selecting the head coach of India as the IPL end. Ravi Shashtri’s contract was expired after the World T20 and not renewed.
Thakur on his own built the Dharamshala Stadium which is the most picturesque ground in India.
Apart from Dharamshala, Thakur also worked on developing cricket in the state enhancing the infrastructure at Bilaspur, Una, Amtar, Pragati Nagra and Laal Pani. Bilaspur and Una have also hosted senior level BCCI matches.
Thakur being the one of the youngest leaders in India shares a good rapport with national cricket team’s past and present cricketers. In fact, many feel that he is a players’ man as he ensured as a secretary that door is not shut on any senior players who are performing.
Players like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra all made comebacks into the national team after he took over as the secretary and became the convener of the senior selection committee.
Seniors like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly call him as Anurag and is accessible to state level players since he had become president of HPCA at the age of 25.
He also played a crucial part in selecting Rahul Dravid as coach of the Indian U19 team.
Within Parliament , he serves as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT and Member of Public Accounts Committee. He is also the member of steering Committee of the Parliamentary Forum of WTO.
In 2011, he was awarded the “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Thakur is also the president of BJP’s Youth organisation.
In 2014 General elections in a nationwide survey he was rated among India’s Top 10 MPs based on his Parliamentary performance and commitment to society at Large.
Thakur, with proven skills and calibre, is the perfect man, who loves both politics and sports administration in equal measure, to lead world’s richest and vibrant cricket body of the world.