The 41-year-old BCCI president Anurag Thakur who elected as the second youngest head of the richest cricket board in the world. After winning the election unanimously started his work saying that it will be a new challenge for him to upgrade the experience of Indian cricket spectators and promote cricket in the country. The stated that he is here at BCCI office to not do politics his jobs is to promote cricket in India.
“I don’t bring politics into cricket. As the BCCI president, I’ll try and take independent decisions, rather than looking at the ideology of the BJP or the thinking of the government. I’m clear about the roles I play.”
He recently paid a visit to Assam and Meghalaya and impressed with the development work of cricket in the football-loving state. A few days ago BCCI allotted six Test matches to six new venues in smaller cities of India in order to popularize the game.
But, cricket is still an unexplored game in the North-Eastern part of the country where people still seems confused whenever one ask them about cricket and its stars.
Anurag Thakur was asked whether the beautiful hill state will get a Tests status soon, he indicated that if not in soon that in future for sure, “Nothing in life is permanent and I’m not going to be in the BCCI permanently either… I’m not a permanent member of the Lok Sabha either… I’m in certain roles for a length of time and, as long as I’m in a particular position, I’ll give that 100 percent. That is the way I work, the way I am.”
He also talked about his approach to India and Pakistan bilateral series and relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Talking about bilateral series against Pakistan, he made it clear that India would only play Pakistan in the multilateral tournament and the issue of bilateral series will depend on of the policy of union government.
He also said the proposed two-tier Test system will not kill the ODI cricket as qualify cricketers and opponent will bring fans in the stand. “The last two World Cups, in 2011 and in 2015, were immensely successful… The last time that ODIs were played in India, against South Africa in 2015-16, there were packed stadiums… If you have quality players and quality cricket, there would definitely be enough space for all three formats.”
He said , my stand is very clear”. “ We will play against Pakistan in multilateral tournaments, but the call on any bilateral series will be taken by the Union government. Clearance would, obviously, depend on the political and diplomatic relations with Pakistan. Such matters are not in the BCCI’s domain. It’s not for the BCCI to assess the political climate, the security environment.”
In serving the people (read fans of cricket) of India he said his role model his former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then comes Narender Modi.
Being asked about implementation of Justice Lodha committee report he said, “The Justice Lodha committee took a year to give its recommendations. We had to give some time to our members.”
“The BCCI is made up of members and each had to be given time to respond with their take on the recommendations. The member associations are the stakeholders and have to be taken into account,” he added.
He also promised to upgrade clean washroom in the stadiums.
He also revaled his anger of current Himachal Pardesh chief minister Virbhandra Singh as he didn’t provide security to Pakistan players during the scheduled India vs Pakistan World T20 match at Dharamshala as a result BCCI had to host the match at Eden gardens. Thakur told The Telegraph-India “It’s strange that while the chief minister didn’t want to host Pakistan, he had no qualms about allowing a Pakistani exhibition in the Himachal Bhavan in Chandigarh. But Pakistani cricketers weren’t welcome in Dharamsala.”
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