BCCI has a new sheriff, and he is determined to root out every questionable contract, deed, and financial arrangements entered into by several high-profile names, which enjoyed uninterrupted benefits while Srinivasan was at the wheels. Srini chose to be blind to every unethical practice, keeping himself busy with bigger, more notorious propositions, and its eventual execution. Focused on giving face-lift to BCCI’s bruised image, Shashank Manohar means business.
Under pressure to improve the game’s battered image before the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee recommended reforms next month, the body also removed other key figures facing conflict-of-interest allegations.
After recalling N Srinivasan as ICC Chairman, Manohar has trained his guns on the others. Former captain Ravi Shastri was removed as an Indian Premier League governing council member, his team mate from yesteryear, Roger Binny, was dropped as a national selector, while spin great Anil Kumble was replaced by Sourav Ganguly as chairman of the board’s technical committee.
Shastri has been a very aggressive personality, with apparently very little humility, and tends to deliberately exude an aura of invincibility around him to assert authority. He has had his hands deep into the multiple cash-making ventures – IPL, BCCI, National team coach/director, selector…. With Manohar in charge, Shastri’s various tentacles have been cut off.
It’s a great start to Manohar’s second innings as BCCI boss. He has the correct stance, is holding his grip tight on the various matters plaguing the board, is seeing everything in clear perspective, and is not afraid to step out and antagonize big names.
Plagued by allegations of misconduct – spot-fixing and conflict-of-interest scandals, even involving his son-in-law, Meiyappan, the Chennai strongman is truly a beleaguered man today. He has nowhere to go, but home.
Under Shashank Manohar’s leadership, the AGM also trimmed the board’s bloated sub-committees, and appointed retired Delhi high court chief justice, AP Shah, as its ombudsman, to deal with conflict-of-interest cases.
In 2014, the Supreme Court ordered Srinivasan to quit as BCCI boss. There were many allegations of conflict of interest over his ownership of CSK, the parent company of which, India Cements, he heads. The stubborn BCCI boss refused to give in to the demand and dug his heels as the ICC Chief.
He was allegedly involved in protecting Meiyappan, who was handed life ban, along with Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra. CSK and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the league for two years. He also failed to act against the growing influence of people like Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, who do commentary, select players, are a part of BCCI, IPL, and various other bodies and committees.