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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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War of Words Between Associations, Irks Ganguly

"The CAB had done nothing about it for a long time. For the pair, it was business as usual till the letter came and stirred a hornet's nest," a source close to the development said.

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Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity. Flickr
Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity. Flickr

An anonymous letter has triggered a war words between Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) ombudsman Ushanath Banerjee and state board President Sourav Ganguly over alleged conflict of interest of selectors Palash Nandy and Madan Ghosh.

Banerjee had received an anonymous letter a few days back which pointed out that senior selection panel chief Nandy was associated with a cricket coaching camp.

Further, it alleged that Ghosh, who moved from the senior to junior selection recently was both associated with a coaching camp and had also represented White Border Club in CAB meetings previously.

“The CAB had done nothing about it for a long time. For the pair, it was business as usual till the letter came and stirred a hornet’s nest,” a source close to the development said.

Ganguly shot off a letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, asking Banerjee not to pay heed to such cases since the complainant did not reveal his or her identity.

“The Cricket Association of Bengal will not entertain any such anonymous communication and as such you being an important part of the organisation should follow the same. I feel you are not entitled to give any reply,” Ganguly wrote.

"You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue," Banerjee wrote to Ganguly. Flickr
“You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue,” Banerjee wrote to Ganguly. Flickr

Banerjee hit back within hours using strong language. The four-page rejoinder was also circulated to the media.

Banerjee rejected the former India captain’s diktat, saying: “it is widely acknowledged that in the interest of maintaining transparency, organisations world over take cognizance of anonymous information.”

To butress his point, he cited in the letter examples of cases where the judiciary has acted on the basis of anonymous information.

“You have been incorrectly advised by persons without any homework being done and based on mere knowledge in the subject matter in issue,” Banerjee wrote to Ganguly.

“I humbly request you to kindly point out the said policy of CAB, as referred in your letter, and the date when so adopted,” the reply read.

Also Read: Sourav Ganguly receives Death threat in a Letter warning him against attending Vidyasagar University’s Cricket meet in Midnapore

When contacted, the senior advocate gave an impression that the issue had been resolved but did not want to be quoted on any further action. (IANS)