My fight was for autonomy, says Anurag Thakur

BCCI president Anurag Thakur. File photo.

BCCI president Anurag Thakur. File photo.  

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to "forthwith cease and desist" from holding their respective offices on the Board.

A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud further issued notice to Mr. Thakur to respond on why he should not face contempt of Supreme Court proceedings and criminal prosecution for perjury.

The court had found him prima facie guilty of contempt and perjury for approaching ICC chairman Shashank Manohar for a letter undermining the judgment of July 18, 2016 upholding the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee recommendation to have a CAG nominee on the Board's apex council.

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7.10 p.m. | Goel refuses to comment on sacking

Sports Minister Vijay Goel refused to comment of Supreme Court’s sacking of BCCI President Anurag Thakur, saying that the government was not party to the case and his ministry will not come between the top court and the cricket body.

“The Sports Ministry is not between Supreme Court, BCCI and Anurag Thakur. Directly Sports Ministry has nothing to do either with Lodha Committee or BCCI and with their decisions. We are not party to that ... Supreme Court decision is Supreme Court decision,” Goel told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.

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6.53 p.m. | BCCI in a fix over senior vice president

With the Supreme Court removing Anurag Thakur from the president’s post, the BCCI is in a fix over who to nominate among its five vice-presidents as the acting chief of the beleaguered cricket body.

At the moment, veteran Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) official CK Khanna, who is vice-president from Central Zone and VP for third time, is the senior most.

However, observer for DDCA Retd Justice Mukul Mudgal, in a scathing report submitted to Delhi HC, termed Khanna as a “pernicious influence“.

It is unlikely that Fali S Nariman and Gopal Subramanium won’t take into cognisance the observations of a legal luminary like Justice Mudgal.

Apart from Khanna, there is Gautam Roy of Assam Cricket Association, who is in his second term as vice president and has been ACA president from early 2000 to 2015.

But Delloitte’s internal report about Assam had been adverse and that was when Roy was president.

However, both Khanna and Roy have been part of their respective state association for more than a decade and will have to go into compulsory cooling—off period.

Ditto for G Ganga Raju, who had a decade long tenure at Andhra CA and may have to go for cooling—off.

As of now there is no clarity on Sourav Ganguly’s position as he is not a vice—president. Even Ganguly would complete a three-year tenure in office in CAB and hence could be ineligible for the post.

As of now, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri is likely to look after the day to day function along with GM MV Sridhar.

6.50 p.m. | Kerala Cricket Association

Kerala Cricket Association president T C Mathew, secretary Ananthanarayan and other office—bearers who have “cumulatively or separately completed nine years in office”, today quit their posts following the Supreme Court directive to BCCI to implement the Lodha Panel reforms.

A meeting of the KCA held here appointed B Vinod as new president and Jayesh George as secretary of the association, KCA sources said.

3.55 p.m. | Anurag Thakur statement

Anurag Thakur, the BCCI president who was asked to demit office by the Supreme Court, has issued a statement.

"I had the honour of serving the Indian Cricket. Over the years the Indian cricket saw its very best in administration and development of the game. BCCI is the best managed sports organisation in the country with defined procedures. India has the best cricket infrastructure, built and maintained by the State associations with the help of BCCI. India has more quality players than anywhere in the world.

"For me, it was not a personal battle. It was the battle for the autonomy for the sports body. I respect Supreme Court like any citizen should. Supreme Court judges feel the BCCI could do better under retired Judges, I wish them all the best. I am sure Indian cricket will be best under their guidance. My commitment to the best of Indian Cricket and autonomy of the sports will always remain."

 

2.15 p.m | Ganga Raju reacts to the order

Rattled after the Supreme Court removed both the BCCI president and secretary, the Board’s senior vice president Gokaraju Ganga Raju on Monday made it clear that his association Andhra Cricket Association will implement Lodha Reforms with immediate effect.

“There is no confusion as Supreme Court has passed it’s verdict. As the president of Andhra Cricket Association we would implement Lodha Reforms in totality with immediate effect. If it means that we have to go into cooling off period, so be it. Indian cricket should move forward,” Ganga Raju told PTI today.

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12.53 p.m. | Shirke reacts to the order

Sacked BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke says he is “absolutely fine” with the Supreme Court order asking him to leave office but hoped that the Board does not lose its international standing owing to the administrative upheaval.

“At the end of the day, the BCCI comprises of members. It is not about me or the president. It is about the members.

“I have no reason to go into history. History can be judged by people differently. I have no personal attachment to the post. In the past also I have resigned and I have lots of other things to do. I came back to the Board as there was a vacancy and I was elected unopposed. Now it has come to this (the Supreme Court). I am completely fine with it and I have no regrets,” he says.

“I have no reaction to that [to his sacking]. If that is the Supreme Court order, I cease to be secretary. It cannot get any simpler than that. My role in BCCI is over.”

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11.52 a.m | R.M. Lodha reacts to the verdict

He says it's a victory for the game of cricket and it will flourish. "Administrators come and go but its for the benefit of the game. The order of the Supreme court should work as a template for other sports organisations."

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Timeline : Long route to reforms in cricket

A look at the turn of events after the recommendation of Lodha panel recommendations on reforms in cricket.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 1:48:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/My-fight-was-for-autonomy-says-Anurag-Thakur/article16977216.ece

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