Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur has attacked ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and said that he left BCCI, when it was facing trouble from all quarters. He compared the situation with abandoning the board like “captain of a sinking ship”.
The BCCI was not happy with ICC’s plan to implement two-tier Test cricket and also questioned the budget of the ICC Champions Trophy, which will be held in 2017.
Manohar has said that he will look after the interest of game in general rather than focusing on the issues of BCCI. Manohar was the former president of BCCI before he took the job at ICC.
“It doesn’t matter if I am disappointed or not with the ICC chairman’s statements. But I need to convey, as a President, what my Board members feel,” an angry Thakur told media persons launching a full frontal attack against the Board’s former president.
“When the Board needed Manohar as President (locked in a legal battle in Supreme Court), he left the Board in middle of things. It is like captain of ship leaving a sinking ship before other members,” he added.
Thakur even accused Manohar of looking after his post in cricketing fraternity with the support of BCCI.
“One needs to understand that when ICC constitution (abolishing Big Three) was changed, Manohar was BCCI president. He should have taken members into confidence. But then he was looking for a position in the establishment,” said Thakur.
As far as BCCI being one of the 105 members, Thakur said that BCCI’s motto has been to stand with weaker cricketing nations.
“It’s our duty to stand by Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. We want to stand by every nation that wants to do well. We need to ask questions as to how costs for Champions Trophy per match escalated by three times compared to matches in India. They have 15 matches and we had 58 matches for World T20. They have three venues while we had 8 venues,” said Thakur.
On the contentious issue of common pool for TV rights revenue for all nations, the BJP MP and youth wing president sarcastically said, “If Australia and England are finding it difficult to sell their broadcasting rights you can’t blame BCCI for that (reason many believe is the inspiration behind the proposed two tier format).
“A game of soccer is popular because its rules don’t change often. We are open to changes. We are having pink ball Duleep Trophy and we are in no hurry. We will experiment in Ranji Trophy and then I will seek a detailed report.”
Thakur indirectly blamed Manohar for trying to sideline BCCI in world cricket.
“The ICC shows concern when there’s outside interference in countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal but has been quiet when there’s been interference in BCCI. We are being arm-twisted at home and in ICC,” Thakur indicated at Lodha Committee reforms.
Anurag Thakur and Shashank Manohar need to sort out their issues. BCCI is the world’s richest cricketing body and 90 percent of revenue comes from India. ICC should take BCCI into confidence before announcing any plan. ICC’s main job is to popularise and spreading the game and it should concentrate on that rather than fighting with its most powerful member.