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Manohar becomes new BCCI boss, pledges transparency

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Mumbai:  Shashank Manohar took over the reins of the Board of Control for Cricket in India at a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the board on Sunday. Assuming office, he pledged to cleanse corruption, ensure transparency and restore the board’s lost reputation.

The BCCI chief’s post was lying vacant since incumbent Jagmohan Dalmiya died in Kolkata on September 20, and the SGM was called to choose the new president. As per the BCCI constitution, a SGM to nominate a successor has to be convened within 15 days of the incumbent chief’s death.

Manohar, a lawyer by profession, earlier held the top post from 2008 to 2011. The 58-year-old was elected for a full two-year term as all the six East Zone cricket units unanimously proposed his candidature for the board president’s post.

It was East Zone’s turn this time around to pick the president, and all six associations of the zone proposed Manohar’s name. As he was the lone candidate in the fray, Manohar was elected for the second tenure.

Among the six proposers of Manohar’s name was Dalmiya’s son Avishek, who was representing the National Cricket Club (NCC) in the SGM.

The others backing Manohar for the board chief’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).

“We have to work on a couple of issues regarding the board and bring back the reputation back as early as possible. I need two months’ time, in which I will look into all the aspects,” Manohar told reporters at a press conference after being elected the president.”

“I will continue to work on the issues Dalmiya had started working on. I will look to do my duty as best as possible,” he added.

“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 said.

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 the 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,” he mentioned.

“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 contracts with women cricketers also.”

Manohar has had his fair share of differences with former board chief N. Srinivasan, but made it clear that he holds the Tamil Nadu strongman’s administrative abilities in high esteem.

“If Srinivasan attends the Annual General Meeting, he will come in as a member. As far Srinivasan is concerned, he was an excellent secretary, better than most of the other secretaries. He can be said as the best secretary after Dalmiya,” he said.

Speaking on renewal of India-Pakistan cricket, the new BCCI president said the final decision rests with the governments of the two countries and not just their cricket boards.

“Decision on India-Pakistan cricket renewal cannot be just taken by both the boards. It is a decision which has to be taken by both the governments primarily,” Manohar said.

Speaking on the World Twenty20 in 2016 which India is to host, Manohar said, “the World Twenty20 is coming up in next year. Our priority will be to conduct that event in best possible and clean manner and we all function in a transparent manner.”

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, specially his stewardship. With him as president, cricket in India will grow with every passing day,” the BCCI secretary added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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BCCI’s Resemblance to Popular Western Movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

The 'Good' is the way the Indian cricket team is progressing as a world-class performer

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BCCI, Popular, Western
It has gun slingers, gun fights and the pot of gold, "the money chest of the BCCI". Pixabay

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) presently has a great resemblance to the popular western movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. It has gun slingers, gun fights and the pot of gold, “the money chest of the BCCI”.

The ‘Good’ is the way the Indian cricket team is progressing as a world-class performer. There is far more consistency in all the aspects of the game and they look like a champion side which is far better than any before. Their success has led to a commercial bonanza not only for the players but for the institution they represent, the BCCI. Cricket viewership through television and the mobile has grown by leaps and bounds, thereby, generating an interest for which the numbers were a dream a decade back. Growth such as this is never an instant formula and one has to give the BCCI and many of their stalwarts kudos in creating a sports body that has become such a huge success.

The ‘Good’ is also in the realisation that the BCCI needs to change to ensure a systematic development of cricket in India and to make the game a pleasant entertainment for the millions of cricket lovers following it. The BCCI needs a radical change to carry it through successfully in the years to come. The cricket body is now a full-fledged business corporate that requires professionalism and regulations to ensure complete transparency in their operations.

The ‘Bad’ is in the way, even with the intervention of the Supreme Court of India and their judgment three years ago to implement the proposal discussed and argued based on the Justice Lodha recommendations, the action to do so is still languishing without a clear-cut conclusion. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the Amicus Curiae’s appointment by the highest judiciary of the land, has unfortunately not been able to get things in order.

BCCI, Popular, Western
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) presently has a great resemblance to the popular western movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. Pixabay

One does feel sorry for, as one could say in the western movie context, the Marshals and the Sheriffs appointed to eradicate and capture the bunch of gangs that controlled cricket in India and in their state associations. To do so they needed to be far more in command as the BCCI was being run by very powerful, rich and influential individuals. To topple and get some of them in-line would require much more than words and written communication. One can now finally see a stern command in the way the head of the COA Vinod Rai has called for the BCCI election, which must have been the result of years of frustration of not being able to do so even through friendship and an amicable relationship.

A firm hand was what was required as most of the people controlling cricket administration at every level, have only one distinct aim and that is one of “Kissa Kursi Ka”. The chair/throne is what gives and gave them status, fame, importance and the famous quote by Lord Acton suits them perfectly, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

The Bad need to be eradicated by the Good and prevent it from the ‘Ugly’ which is at present synonymous with how the BCCI is perceived. Each and every day, there seems to be some negative and controversial news of individuals and state associations opposing the COA and BCCI, with statements and court cases. The sharp shooters in this case are the legal luminaries who are raking in a fortune to keep the gang war sufficiently ignited. The BCCI is losing crores of money battling legal cases, money that could be spent for the betterment of the game of cricket.

The quicker the BCCI apex body is put into effect, the better it will be for cricket and the development of it at every centre. Presently, at most associations, ad-hoc appointments and committees are being formed by the king makers of yore.

Also Read- Hundreds of Kenyans Join International Protests to Demand Political Leaders Do More to Combat Climate Change

The BCCI elections to be held on the October 22, will most likely not have some of the important big cricket centres of India partaking in it. The reason being that is they are still to complete registering their constitutions and some are also abstaining from doing so.

The CoA has made it amply clear that those state associations will not be invited to either participate or be funded by the BCCI in the future. Most of the state association leaders and gang members have been rooted firmly on their chairs or through some form of a committee for well over the 9+9 stipulated period. This makes them ineligible for a position either in the BCCI or in their respective associations. They have, however, still got clout to put their proxies in place. The gun fight will, therefore, be between the Good and the Bad. One hopes it does not turn out to be Ugly! (IANS)