NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Narayanaswami Srinivasan’s tumultuous tenure as the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman was cut short on Monday after the powerful Indian board (BCCI) withdrew support for its former president.
BCCI president Shashank Manohar would take over for the remainder of Srinivasan’s tenure until June next year, board secretary Anurag Thakur told reporters in Mumbai.
“The BCCI representative to the ICC will be Mr Shashank Manohar. Being the board representative in the ICC, he will take over as the ICC chairman,” Thakur said of a move which will see a media-shy lawyer replace a feisty industrialist at the helm of cricket’s governing body.
Often described as the sport’s most powerful man, former BCCI chief Srinivasan took over as ICC head in June 2014 in controversial circumstances after his son-in-law was indicted in an illegal betting scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Srinivasan’s India Cements company owned the lucrative Twenty20 competition’s Chennai franchise, which many perceived as a clear case of a conflict of interest.
Since the IPL scandal broke out, BCCI has spent considerable time being admonished by India’s top court for being lenient in its handling of corruption that plagued the Twenty20 league.
Manohar returned for a second innings as BCCI president in October and promised to correct the image of the world’s richest cricket board, which is perceived as an efficient but opaque body run by officials with conflicting interests.
“We’d clean up the system and would try to run this board in the most transparent fashion. We have done at present whatever we could,” the 58-year-old said after the board’s annual general meeting in Mumbai.
BCCI also dropped former test player Roger Binny from the selection panel as his son Stuart plays for India, primarily in limited overs cricket.
“Perception has to change. There should not be injustice with Stuart Binny also. He is a deserving player. He should not draw flak from media because he is Roger Binny’s son. We can’t destroy his career,” Manohar said.
In other moves, the Indian board appointed an ombudsman to look into cases of conflict of interest and approved six new test match venues.
Regarding a possible series against arch-rivals Pakistan in United Arab Emirates next month, Manohar did not sound too optimistic and said the board would go by whatever the government told them.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien)