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Anurag Thakur

Supreme Court declines to stop BCCI elections

The Supreme Court of India refused to stay BCCI elections scheduled to be held on May 22 after hearing a plea filed by the Bihar Cricket Association.

Bihar Cricket Association had approached the apex court to get a stay or restraint candidates who have charge sheet against them as suggested by the Justice RM Lodha Committee.

The BCCI go to polls to elect its new president after Shashank Manohar resigned from the post last year. SC, however, has asked the petitioner to approach the Bench which passed the earlier order, but that Bench is not sitting as of now due to vacation.

One charge sheeted candidate is the current BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, who is one of the frontrunners to take over from Manohar.

The petitioner may approach the registrar for a special hearing of the case.

Earlier Bihar Cricket Association filed a petition to Supreme Court  which had initiated the 2013 IPL match-fixing case that finally led to the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from  the league for two seasons.

The Apex Court said the Bench hearing the IPL corruption case discussing the Lodha panel report hear the petition after  the summer vacation.

Bihar’s petition stated that charge-sheeted persons can’t contest BCCI polls. The petition wanted either BCCI polls. The petition wanted either the BCCI polls stay or Thakur restrained from contesting. Bihar’s petition says as per Lodha panel, charge-sheeted

The Supreme Court said, “We can’t hear the matter as it is being heard by another Bench.”

Top three contenders for BCCI president post
Top three contenders for BCCI president post

Top three contenders for BCCI president post

BCCI president and ICC chairman Shashank Manohar’s decision to vacate country’s one of the most lucrative sporting governing bodies’ top most position opened the pandora box as a new tussle among the BCCI mandarins and their members already started for the post.

The Nagpur lawyer Manohar took over the presidency in 2015 when Supreme Court grilled former president N Srinivasan for conflict of interest issue. According to news reports by several media three names have emerged in the race to replace Manohar.

Manohar is in line to become ICC’s first ever independent chairman in May and could hold the position till 2021.

“In the present scenario, he (Shashank Manohar) knows he can’t do much in the BCCI with the way the Supreme Court is viewing things,” said a source close to the development.

“The ICC post gives him a stable five-year window and an opportunity to make history as possibly the administrator who brought all countries (member boards of the ICC) together, and struck off the so-called monopoly of the Big Three. Look how the West Indies and Pakistan boards have already started praising him for what he’s done,” the source further added

Manohar has great future in ICC and he may get votes from boards like Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He also promised to work for cricket’s development in non-cricket playing countries.

Manohar promised to reform the board bu denied to accept Supreme Court recommendations that brought criticism from the apex court of the country.

Ajay Shirke, Rajeev Shukla, and current joint secretary Anurag Thakur are now the favorites to occupy the hot seat of Indian cricket.

Nevertheless, BJP will try to play their cards here too. So Congress RS MP Shukla, who is the IPL commissioner, close to BJP’s go to man Arun Jaitley, the current finance minister of India. Shukla though he is a Congress MP he is known for his networking.

On the other hand, Anurag Thakur is a close confidant of BJP president Amit Shah who is also close to Indian Minister Narendra Modi. Because of Amit Shah Thakur has become the young BJP  members’ face. So Thakur will have an edge to hold the post. But Shukla who can solve any issue with his networking is a big contender for his ability to resolve any controversy with his networking power.

Besides these two names Mumbai Cricket Association president and former BCCI treasurer also on the line as he would like to use the local network and members of the westerns India’s cricket boards’.

However, at the end, it is expected that  the cold war will be between the camp of Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley’s.

Anurag Thakur proposes 10 year jail sentence for fixers. image courtesy: BCCI

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur proposes 10 years jail for fixers

BCCI secretary and Lok Sabha MP, Anurag Thakur, has  now proposed three private member bills, which includes an important ‘National Sports Ethics Commission’ bill recommending “10 years of jail term” for any sportsperson involved in match-fixing.

The BCCI has been mired by the infamous fixing scandal which made the 2013 Indian Premier League a complete satire, witnessing  the arrest of three tainted cricketers, including former India pacer S Sreesanth along with Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan.

“It is only fair to bring in accountability to be fair to sports lovers. As such there is no law which is there to curb match-fixing. It is absolutely mandatory to have a law that can combat the menace,” Thakur said while questioned what made him propose the bill in Lok Sabha.

The proposed bill, placed in the Lower House, says “to establish a national sports ethics body to ensure ethical practices in sports as well as strive towards the elimination of doping practices, match fixing and fair play, fraud of age, gender and sexual harassment of women in sports.”

The bill further reveals: “This comes as an aftermath of the recent corruption and match-fixing charges that were thrown up in Indian Cricket and other sports by multiple players.

“The concerned players are currently charged under inappropriate sections of Dishonesty and Cheating under Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as Prevention of Corruption Act in the courts but the sportspersons often get easily free because these laws don’t apply to sports.”

If this private member bill by Anurag Thakur passed, it will not only impose a life ban but also 10 years jail sentence as well as a fine of five times the bribe amount in cases of match fixing.

For cases of fraud of age or gender, a jail sentence of 6 months along with a fine of Rs 1 lakh will be viable. Not only sportspersons but coaches, members of sports federations who will assist in those criminal activities would be punished with similar provisions.

The private member bill also looks to create a ‘National Sports Ethics Commission’ which will comprise of judges as well as eminent sports personalities. The commission will have the authority to conduct trials of such cases, frame rules, and by-laws of practices along with the help of sports associations.

The other private member bill is trying to come up with an amendment to the constitution where Anurag has suggested sports to be taken from the State list to Concurrent list to encourage coordinated and more focused approach.

Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur

India-Pakistan tie in Dharamsala will be played as scheduled: Thakur

The marquee World Twenty20 match between India and Pakistan at Dharamsala will be played as scheduled on March 19, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur aserted on Thursday.

Recently the Himachal Pradesh’s political leaders made strong reservations over holding the India-Pakistan match in a state that has a high chunk of serving and retired soldiers in the Indian Army as well as families of martyrs of the Kargil War.

Leaders from both the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party are united in their opposition to the Super 10 Group 2 match being hosted at Dharamsala on March 19, keeping in mind the local sentiments.

But Thakur on Thursday said he has met chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh and the talks have been progressive and the match will be staged as scheduled.

“As far as BCCI is concerned, the India vs Pakistan match is on schedule in Dharamsala. As far as March 19 is concerned, I have met HP chief minister and the talks were very progressive. BCCI and the government want to resolve this situation. We respect the war veterans and martyrs equally,” Thakur said in a press conference here.

Earlier Chief Minister Singh was categorically clear in saying that “if the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) is keen on the match, it can hold it at its own risk”.

BCCI secretary Thakur pointed out that the cricket board condemns acts of terror but sports should not be mixed with politics.

“BCCI condemns attacks like Pathankot but we can’t mix sports with politics,” he said.

Thakur made it clear that the board has not thought of any alternate venues for the high-octane clash.

“No venues have been put on standby as of now as far as the India-Pakistan World T20 match is concerned,” Thakur concluded.



Dhoni has revealed why India will retain ICC Champions Trophy
Dhoni has revealed why India will retain ICC Champions Trophy

MS Dhoni will be the captain till T20 World Cup: Anurag Thakur

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said that MS Dhoni will remain the captain of the India till the T20 World Cup to be held at home. The Indian selectors met in Delhi and picked the squad for the One-day International and T20 series against Australia starting from 12th January.

Anurag Thakur said, “MS Dhoni has brought a lot of glory for the Indian team. Under his captaincy, the Indian team won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and 50 over 2011 World Cup in the subcontinent. He has done so much for the country in the recent past”.

“India’s current limited over’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the team for the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. MS Dhoni will lead a young squad against Australia in the One-day Internationals. MS Dhoni also brought the Champions Trophy 2013 in England”. MS Dhoni also led India to semi-finals of the World Cup 2015

MS Dhoni is eager to lead India at home and will be doing everything best to win the second T20 title. He knows how to win bigger matches and with huge crowd support India can win the title. Sri Lanka is the defending champions.

Anurag Thakur in a statement has said that it will be fitting to see MS Dhoni win the second T20 title in India.

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