Shashank Manohar yorked by BCCI? Real story behind his resignation as ICC chief.

16-03-2017
HT

Shashank Manohar resigned on Wednesday as chairman of the International Cricket Council and contrary to the reports that the reason was a fall-out with his home board, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, over his efforts to reform the game’s world governing body, he was close to working out an understanding with the BCCI.

Hindustan Times has learnt that on Tuesday Shashank Manohar had a meeting with Vikram Limaye, a member of the all-important four-man Committee of Administrators in Mumbai, and the two had reached an understanding over the ideal share of revenue for the BCCI from the ICC’s coffers.

In his capacity as chairman of the ICC Shashank Manohar had agreed to a reasonable increase of the BCCI’s share of revenue from what was being offered at February’s meeting in Dubai, which was attended by Limaye.

After the meeting, Shashank Manohar in fact immediately shared the news with the ICC’s CEO, Dave Richardson, and sounded in high spirits.

But, quite inexplicably then overnight Manohar decided to give up the ICC’s top job. The only explanation he offered was ‘personal reasons’. After his mail to the ICC CEO and all the directors of the ICC, Manohar went incommunicado.

Even though Shashank Manohar has quit the ICC, he seems to have shared the details on the understanding reached over the share of revenue for the BCCI with the ICC CEO and it has to be ratified by the ICC Board in its next Board meeting in April, from 23 to 27.

To a message by HT, Limaye, didn’t confirm or deny about the meeting in Mumbai. But, the BCCI did sent a mail expressing surprise over the Manohar’s resignation.

BCCI expresses surprise

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday expressed its surprise at the sudden decision of Mr Shashank Manohar to step down from the post of ICC chairman.

“Mr Manohar’s contribution to Indian cricket is invaluable. He is a man of few words but excellent deeds. The BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) was looking forward to a long-term cooperation between the ICC and BCCI with Mr Manohar at the helm of affairs,” read the BCCI statement.

The ICC Chairman’s post is an honorary job with an annual payment of USD 100,000 as administrative allowance.

Shashank Manohar took over last year as the first independent ICC chairman and had been trying to bring in changes to the ICC’s governance designed to reduce the power of cricket’s most powerful nations -- India, Australia and England. However, the BCCI was not happy with the share offered.

Although Shashank had got it provisionally passed at the February meeting where the BCCI was outvoted, a final decision is pending at the April’s Board meeting.

The voting game

There was also speculation that the BCCI is trying to get the reforms scrapped and has garnered the four votes needed to scuttle it. BCCI already had Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in its corner. In the meanwhile, there are talks that India have agreed to play a tri-series with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. So no points for guessing who the crucial fourth vote in BCCI’s corner could be.

Australia and England too could cross over to India’s corner. Australia, after a truce meeting between BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and James Sutherland over the Steve Smith ‘Dressing Room Review’ row. And England after six of their players were picked for a handsome purse at the IPL auctions. Now all eight IPL franchises have at least one England player in their ranks.

The writing on the wall was getting clearer by the day and it could be that Manohar had realised his days at ICC’s helm were numbered.

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