Monumental task ahead
Nagpur lawyer Shashank Manohar’s return to BCCI’s top job couldn’t have come at a better time. A man of simple tastes, Manohar has made it his mission to restore “the faith of the Indian cricket fan”, improve “the credibility and image of the BCCI” and inject “transparency”. His second coming after his first presidential stint in 2008-11 has been necessitated by the deep-seated conflict of interest that seems to have torn Indian cricket asunder. The apex court took a very serious view of the rot that had set in, and despite former BCCI President N. Srinivasan’s steadfast refusal to take any blame for the mess that Indian cricket seemed to find itself in. The apex court in a path-breaking judgment went by observations made by the R M Lodha committee. The committee had ordered <g data-gr-id="26">suspension</g> of two IPL teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, and the process to cleanse cricket is still underway. Manohar has set himself a two-month <g data-gr-id="20">time-frame</g> to deliver. The seasoned administrator will have to bite the bullet and take some harsh decisions. One thing seems certain N Srinivasan’s continuance as ICC chairman seems untenable. He will also have tread cautiously in his dealings some key officials who were known Srinivasan loyalists.
It is no secret that Manohar has been very vocal on BCCI’s inept handling of the IPL mess. He has drawn up an 11-point agenda that will go a long way in bringing about much-needed transparency in the cricket board. New regulations to address vexed conflict of interest, setting up of an independent ombudsman or ethics officer, training of players to nip corruption in the bud and roping in government investigating agencies, independent auditing of state units that are beneficiaries of substantial BCCI grants and putting up the BCCI constitution online are on the new BCCI chief’s reform agenda. Manohar was BCCI president from 2008-2011 and will have to do a fine balancing act to tackle the political bigwigs and other powerful vested interests that are deeply entrenched in the BCCI. A certain degree of skepticism seems to have crept into the Indian cricket fan. Millions of Indian cricket fans will be hoping that the upright lawyer from Nagpur gives a new direction to the beleaguered cricket body.