Interview/ Shashank Manohar, chairman, ICC
Shashank Manohar, who gave up BCCI presidency to become the ICC’s first independent chairman, is under a no-holds-barred attack from his former BCCI colleagues. They accuse him of compromising India’s interests while ensuring a safe future for himself.
Speaking to THE WEEK from his office in Nagpur over phone, Manohar pulled no punches. Excerpts from the interview:
The BCCI accuses you of undermining its interests.
I am an independent chairman of the ICC. I am not representing the BCCI—how can I? I have to protect the interests of the ICC. It is my duty.
The BCCI has rejected the proposal for two-tier Test structure, which Australia, England and South Africa were pushing with your blessings.
The ICC had nothing to do with the proposal. It is for the 12 national boards to discuss it. The ICC will act only as a facilitator.
The two-day informal workshop to discuss the two-tier structure held in Dubai recently was not an official meeting called by the ICC. Even the expenses were not paid by ICC. I had nothing to do with that. The BCCI is aware of this fact, but is deliberately twisting it.
Personally, I, too, am against this two-tier structure, as the value of tier-II matches will be zero.
The BCCI alleges it is being sidelined, like having no representation in the ICC’s finance sub-committee.
All this is falsehood. What is this finance committee? There is no official sub-committee as such.
Moreover, no ICC sub-committee has the authority to decide on any matter. All matters come before the board of directors. These committees make no difference.
The ICC board comprises 13 members. One needs the support of seven members to pass a resolution. Your [BCCI’s] failures cannot be blamed on others.
Is the question mark over the BCCI’s future [based on the Lodha Committee recommendations] affecting decision-making in the ICC? The BCCI alleges that its mails and proposals are being trashed.
That is not affecting the ICC at all. You [BCCI] are in a state of uncertainty. You [BCCI] have to sort out your problems.
The BCCI is upset that, as ICC chairman, you did not condemn “external interference” in its working.
Can we [ICC] overturn the decision of the highest court of the land? We are bound by the laws of the country.
Have you gone through the FAQs list issued by the Lodha Commission? Check question number 9 [which refers to the “cooling-off period”, where one is not allowed to be an office-bearer of the BCCI or state-level cricket associations for more than three years at a stretch].
Everybody in the BCCI is gone as per this! A new team will come.