Manohar promises to restore lost BCCI reputation

Mumbai, Oct 4 (IANS) After taking over as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) here on Sunday, Shashank Manohar talked tough and promised to ensure transparancy in the functioning of the board and to restore its lost reputation.

“The board would lay down the norms and would take measures to prevent and wipe away corruption in the game. For this, the board will make programmes to educate the players,” Manohar told the media here after being elected as the new BCCI chief at the board’s Special General Meeting (SGM) here on Sunday.

“Also with the help of BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, who is a member of parliament, we would like to meet the government officials to see and work out if we can get any investigating agency, as we did not have investigative powers, our hands were tied,” he added.

The BCCI’s image took a serious beating during the tenure of former chief N. Srinivasan due to the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scandal, in which Gurunath Meiyappan — Srinivasan’s son-in-law and a top official of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) — and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra were implicated.

Srinivasan’s dual role as BCCI president and CSK co-owner was also called into question by various quarters and the Tamil Nadu strongman was barred by the Supreme Court from attending board meetings.

But Manohar, assuming the BCCI president’s office in the wake of Jagmohan Dalmiya’s demise on September 20, is determined to put that sorry episode firmly in the past.

Manohar has been critical of Srinivasan in the past, and his rise to the top post is expected to keep the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman’s faction out in the cold. But when asked about Srinivasan’s administrative abilities, Manohar was effusive in his praise.

“If Srinivasan attends the AGM, he will come in as a member. As far as Srinivasan is concerned, he was an excellent secretary, better than most of the other secretaries. He can be said as the best secretary after Dalmiya,” he said.

The lawyer-turned-cricket administrator also asserted that the BCCI would keep a track of the state associations and appoint an independent auditor from the board who would look into their works.

“There is a huge debate that the state associations are being paid a huge amount of money and nobody knows what happens to the money, if it is spent on cricketing activities or something else,” he said.

“Now the accounts of all the associations are audited by their auditors. However, we will build a system by which the accounts of the associations will be audited by an independent auditor appointed by the board. The board will have the right to take action against the associations if the board finds the money given is not being used in proper way,” Manohar said.

The BCCI chief also said that the board will put up its rules and regulations along with details of its expenditure on its website in order to ensure transparency.

“There is another debate that arises… that the board is not transparent and everything is kept under the wrap. This problem could be sorted out by putting on the website of the board, the constitution of the board, all rules of board, all expenses made by the board above Rs.25 lakh, so that people are aware what and where BCCI is spending the money.”

“At the end of the year, we can put the balance sheet of the board on the website, so it is available to the entire public. There is no wrong done in the board,” he said.

Speaking on renewal of India-Pakistan cricket, the newly appointed president said a decision should be taken by governments of both the countries and not just the cricket boards.

“Decision on India-Pakistan cricket renewal cannot be just taken by both the boards. It is a decision which has to be taken by both the governments primarily,” Manohar said.

Speaking on the World Twenty20 in 2016 which India is to host, he said: “The World Twenty20 is coming up in next year. Our priority will be to conduct that event in best possible and clean manner, and we all function in a transparent manner.”

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