MUMBAI: Shashank Manohar was unanimously elected president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday, vowing to restore the governing body’s image after a series of scandals.
The Nagpur-based lawyer succeeds veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, who died last month, in what is arguably the most powerful job in world cricket.
“Mr Shashank Manohar elected,” the BCCI said on its official twitter account after a special general body meeting at its headquarters in Mumbai.
Manohar, who had earlier served as BCCI president from 2008 and 2011 and was the lone candidate in the election, will remain at the helm for two years.
Dalmiya’s death on September 20 had triggered a bitter succession battle within the faction-ridden BCCI, with former chief Sharad Pawar being a key contender for the post.
But Pawar, a veteran politician, backed out of the race after reportedly being opposed by the nation’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, paving the way for Manohar to emerge as a consensus candidate.
Manohar, who has a squeaky-clean image and a no-nonsense approach to cricket administration, will be charged with restoring the BCCI’s image and credibility after a string of corruption scandals over the past few years.
The cash-rich BCCI, which generates huge revenues due to its vast television audiences, enjoys a pre-eminent position in world cricket and effectively runs the International Cricket Council (ICC) with its allies, Australia and England.
“The BCCI is a huge brand which has been created by the love of fans,” Manohar, 58, told a news conference after his election.
“The confidence of the fans has been shaken in recent times by some unpleasant things that have taken place. The duty of the board is to rebuild its image on a priority basis.”
Manohar said he planned to appoint an independent ombudsman — or an ethics officer — to take up any dispute involving Indian cricket.
“I plan to lay down norms to prevent corruption in the game,” he said. “A perception exists that the BCCI is not transparent and has something to hide because information does not come out.
“To clear this myth, all the financial dealings of the board, including the balance sheet, will be posted on the BCCI website.”
Manohar’s elevation is expected to be a setback for Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the controversial head of the ICC, who was stood down as BCCI chief by the Supreme Court last year over conflict of interest charges.
Manohar has publicly blamed Srinivasan for bringing the BCCI into disrepute following a Supreme Court probe that found Srinivasan’s son-in-law guilty of corruption in the Indian Premier League.
The court also forced Srinivasan to give up the ownership of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, which was in July banned along with Rajasthan Royals from taking part in the money-spinning Twenty20 tournament for the next two editions.
It remains to be seen if the Manohar-led BCCI will endorse Srinivasan’s bid to serve out his two-year term as ICC chairman which ends in June next year.
Manohar said he planned within a month to address conflicts of interest with regards to players, support staff and administrators. -AFP