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)