The board says the ICC chairman had signed an affidavit in SC as BCCI president contradicting his current stand on government interference.
The ongoing war between Shashank Manohar, chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) and officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) turned even worse on Saturday with the embattled Indian cricket board alleging that Manohar has contradicted his stand regarding what constitutes “governmental interference.” The BCCI stated this in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in response to Justice Lodha Commission's status report.
The board alleged that when Manohar was the BCCI president, he had filed an affidavit in the apex court saying that inclusion of the CAG nominee in its management board would lead to a possible suspension by the ICC. Page 22 of the affidavit, a copy of which is with THE WEEK, states: “......Mr Shashank Manohar, senior advocate has clearly opined as the BCCI president that appointment of CAG in the BCCI shall result in suspension of the BCCI as it would constitute government interference. In fact same has been admitted on affidavit in this honourable court. However as chairman of ICC, Mr Manohar has taken a contrary stand and stated that it would not amount to governmental interference. It was in this context that a discussion took place between Mr Shashank Manohar and Mr Anurag Thakur during a meeting in Dubai. A clarification was sought by Mr Anurag Thakur during an informal discussion as to what exact status would be if CAG was inducted by the BCCI as part of its management ....”
Manohar, who quit as BCCI president to take over as ICC's first independent chairman in June 2016 has been accused by the Indian cricket board of “jumping the ship” when the board was in crisis facing an SC order to overhaul its entire administrative structure and functioning. The top court had passed the order related to implementation of the Lodha Committee's recommendations. Manohar has also been accused by BCCI office bearers of hurting India's interests by dissolving the Big 3 which gave India, the financial power house of cricket, the largest share of profits ahead of England and Australia. Manohar hit back saying that as ICC Chairman he had no authority or jurisdiction to challenge or question the law of the land.
The BCCI has denied requesting the ICC verbally or in writing a letter stating that the SC order regarding CAG nominee in the BCCI amounted to government interference. On the same page 22, BCCI response refers to ICC CEO David Richardson as “confused” in relation to the same issue. Dragging in the ICC and Richardson and allegedly accusing him of making a false statement is bound to make other ICC members unhappy . It must be noted that the ICC board meeting is scheduled to be held in Cape Town next week.
The affidavit states, “ ....it appears that an interview was given by Mr David Richardson, the ICC CEO falsely stating that the BCCI president had requested the ICC to issue a letter stating that the intervention by the honourable court amounted to governmental interference. It is submitted that no such letter or oral request was ever made to the said gentleman either by the BCCI president or any office bearer of the BCCI. It is apparent that Mr Richardson has confused himself in relation to the issue.”
A three judge bench led by Chief Justice T.S.Thakur asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur to file an affidavit saying whether he had sought ICC's intervention in rejecting Lodha committee reforms. The court, in its order on Lodha Panel's recommendation, has already stated that the presence of CAG nominee in the BCCI does not amount to government interference.