"Even I am the captain of the Supreme Court cricket team," Chief Justice T.S. Thakur on Thursday observed after BCCI defended its President Anurag Thakur's qualification to be a office bearer of the cash-rich body.
The observation by the Chief Justice came after the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, asked about the qualification of the BCCI office- bearers.
"What is the qualification for the office bearers? Do they have any special or essential qualification? Is the President of BCCI a politician," the bench asked.
Responding to the query, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing BCCI, said that Thakur was a cricketer.
Interrupting, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who is assisting as an amicus curaie, said "we all have played cricket".
Taking objection to his remarks, Sibal said, "Thakur was a serious cricketer".
At this point, the CJI said, "I am the captain of the Supreme Court judges."
However, making the deliberations serious, Sibal said "the president (of BCCI) had played Ranji trophy match and domestic cricket for Himachal Pradesh".
"You are making fun of him," Sibal told Subramaniam, maintaining that "he happens to be a serious cricketer".
Cutting short the arguments, the bench said, "They are not having any specialised qualification to be office bearers. They have to be elected."
Later, the Cricket Association of Bihar also took a dig at the cricketing career of Thakur, saying he had only played one Ranji trophy match as captain of Himachal Pradesh against Jammu and Kashmir and that was perhaps to make a way into cricket administration.
At this, the CJI said he comes from a small state and perhaps "Himachal Pradesh plays with a state like mine, that is Jammu and Kashmir, and neighbouring Uttrakhand."