Shashank Manohar took over as the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday. At a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the board here earlier, he was the only candidate for the top post.
The BCCI chief’s chair was lying vacant since September 20 when incumbent Jagmohan Dalmiya died in Kolkata. According to the BCCI’s constitution, a notification for an SGM to nominate a successor has to be issued within 15 days of the incumbent’s death.
Manohar, a lawyer by profession, had held the top post earlier too from 2008 to 2011. The 58-year-old lawyer-turned-administrator was elected for a full two-year term as all the six East Zone units unanimously proposed Manohar’s candidature for the president’s post.
It was East Zone’s turn this time around to propose a name, and as Manohar was the lone candidate in the fray, he was elected for the second time.
Among the six proposers for Manohar was Dalmiya’s son Abhishek, who was representing the National Cricket Club (NCC) at the SGM.
The others who too proposed Manohar for the president’s post were Sourav Ganguly from Bengal, Sourav Dasgupta from Tripura, Gautam Roy from Assam, Ashirbad Behera of Odisha and Sanjay Singh of the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA).
“Thank you all for your wishes. As you all know, BCCI is a brand and brand is created because of fans. Now it will be our duty to bring back the reputation of the board which was lost for quite some time to normal position. I will continue to work on the issues Dalmiya had started working on. I will look to do my duty as best as possible,” Manohar told reporters at a press conference after being elected the president.
“We have to work on a couple of issues regarding the board and bring back the reputation back as easy as possible. I need two months’ time in which I will look into all the aspects ad get back to you all. I have just taken over as the president as I am looking forward to performing my duty well,” Manohar said.
“The first thing would be as functions of the interest issue of the BCCI. The board will frame regulations with regard to function of interest of administrators and their staffs that would be done within a month’s time.”
“The board would also appoint an imbursement, for an ethics officer, who would be independent of their post and who would look into the complaints as regard to the conflicts of the administrator, players and their staffs,” he added.
The newly elected president stressed that his second aim would be to wipe away and prevent corruption from the game.
“Secondly, the board would lay down the norms and would take measures to prevent and wipe away corruption in the game. For this, the board will make programmes to educate the players.”
Manohar said: “Also with the help of secretary Thakur, who is a member of parliament, we would like to meet the government officials to see and work out if we can get any investigating agency, as we did not have investigative powers, our hands were tied.”
His third item on agenda in the upcoming months would be to keep a track of the state associations and appoint an independent auditor from the board who would look into their works.
“Thirdly, there is a huge debate that the state associations are being paid a huge amount of money and nobody knows what happens to the money, if it is spent on cricketing activities or something else,” he said.
“Now the accounts of all the associations are audited by their auditors. However, we will build a system by which the accounts of the associations will be audited by an independent auditor appointed by the board. The board will have the right to take action against the associations if the board finds the money given is not being used in proper was,” Manohar said.
The BCCI chief also said that the board will put up its rules and regulations along with details of its expenditure on its website in order to ensure transparency.
“There is another debate that arises… that the board is not transparent and everything is kept under the wrap. This problem could be sorted out by putting on the website of the board, the constitution of the board, all rules of board, all expenses made by the board above Rs.25 lakh, so that people are aware what and where BCCI is spending the money.”
“At the end of the year, we can put the balance sheet of the board on the website, so it is available to the entire public. There is no wrong done in the board,” he said.
Speaking on National Cricket Academy (NCA) and women’s cricket in India, he said: “We will make sure National Cricket Academy works round the year and helps bring out good players and spinners. We will also focus on women’s cricket and develop it,and we will enter into contract with women cricketers also.”
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur congratulated Manohar on becoming the new board president.
“After the demise of Dalmiya we had to elect a president. And all six associations of the East Zone proposed the name of Manohar and he was elected unanimously,” Thakur said.
“We have seen in his last tenure how well he has worked and how well his work was appreciated especially his administration ship. With him as president, cricket in India will grow with every passing day,” the BCCI secretary added.