ICC Chairman Contradicts Anurag Thakur’s Claims, Says BCCI President Wanted Letter Against Government Interference
Under-pressure Anurag Thakur might land in further trouble after the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar revealed the BCCI president had written to the apex body stating Lodha Committee’s recommendation of having a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the working committee will be equivalent to governmental interference.
Thakur, who is now facing perjury charges for lying under the oath, in an affidavit had denied writing the letter to the ICC. However, Manohar, in an email to the Supreme court-appointed Lodha Panel on November 2 revealed the BCCI chief had written to him to issue a letter which he denied to comply.
The former BCCI chief said Thakur had made the request on August 6, at an ICC meeting.
Manohar said:“During the meeting Mr. Thakur pointed out to me that when I was the President of BCCI, a submission was advanced before the Supreme Court at my behest that the appointment of a nominee of the CAG on the Apex Council might amount to Governmental interference and would invoke an action of suspension from the ICC.”
“He therefore, requested me to issue a letter to that effect in my capacity as ICC Chairman.
“I declined to issue such a letter and explained to him that the said submission was advanced before the Hon Supreme Court when the court was hearing the matter. However, on 18-7-2016 the Hon SC delivered its judgement in the matter and rejected the submission that the appointment of a nominee of the CAG would amount to governmental interference.
The meeting was also attended by ICC directors Giles Clarke, David Peever and Imran Khawaja, as well as ICC CEO David Richardson and COO Iain Higgins.
“I therefore, explained to Mr Thakur that the issue having been decided by the Hon Supreme Court of India, which is the highest court of the country and whose judgement binds everybody, I cannot give him any such letter. All this transpired in the presence of the Directors I have named earlier and the CEO and COO of ICC,” Manohar further wrote.
The incidents started transpiring when David Richardson, last month, revealed Thakur had asked the ICC to address a letter to the BCCI that would support them in their stance of not implementing the Lodha Committee recommendation since the world governing body does not allow the government to interfere in the running of its Full Member boards. It reportedly miffed the Supreme Court as they wanted to know why would Thakur seek a letter from the ICC when the apex court had already approved the panel’s recommendations.
In his defence, Thakur said he only wanted to know about Manohar’s stance when he was the chief of the cricket board. Thakur, in his affidavit, had said: “I pointed out to the Chairman of the ICC, Mr Shashank Manohar that, when he was President of BCCI, he had taken a view that the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee appointing the nominee of the CAG on the Apex Council would amount to governmental interference, and might invoke an action of suspension from ICC.I therefore requested him that, being the ICC Chairman, can a letter be issued clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President.”
However, Lodha Committee secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan said Manohar and Thakur contradicted each other in their letter and affidavit respectively.
Sankaranarayanan said:“In [Anurag] Thakur’s version of events it is a clarification he had sought. In Manohar’s version of events, he said, ‘As ICC chairman I was asked to give a letter, not a clarification, saying that this amounts to interference.'”
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