Manohar left a sinking ship, says Thakur

Anurag Thakur, the BCCI president, has accused Shashank Manohar of choosing the convenience of heading the ICC when the Indian board required him as a 'captain of the sinking ship'.

Anurag Thakur..."We are being arm-twisted at home and [by the] ICC"   -  Kamal Narang

Anurag Thakur made no effort to hide his disappointment at the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar’s unwillingness to take up cudgels on behalf of the Board.

“It doesn’t matter whether I am disappointed with ICC chairman’s statements or not. I have to convey the feelings of the BCCI members. I am the president of the Board. The member feels today when the Board needed Mr Shashank Manohar as the president he left the board in the middle of the things. It is like a captain of the ship leaving a sinking ship.

"He was expected to deliver but nevertheless whatever happened, happened,” said Thakur at a press conference here.

The Board had expected the ICC to assist the BCCI in its ongoing tussle with the Lodha Committee. “Yes, BCCI should look after its interests,” said Thakur. “That is why we are here for, but BCCI does not only limit itself to look after BCCI’s interests. BCCI, being the global leader today will look after the world cricket interest as well. And, that is why we have raised the issue, when the others kept mum, that we want to go through the Champions Trophy budget, and you have to make a comparison as well.”

Thakur pointed out, “The BCCI has raised this because it wants every single penny saved. Every single penny saved is every single penny earned, not only for BCCI but for 105 countries. That is why BCCI was concerned. When you talk about the two-tier Test system, BCCI could have got benefits by joining hands with associations like Australia and England, but we stood by countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and to an extent like West Indies.

"We want to stand with those who want to do well. BCCI has always helped those countries who are not doing financially well.”

Thakur mocked at Manohar’s statement on the status of Test cricket. “Look at the ICC chairman’s statement. He said, ‘who has the time to see a five-day game?’ Then what were the ICC members doing meeting for so many days in Dubai? Why were they discussing Test cricket if the ICC chairman feels – and I think he must make a clarification of that statement that who will watch a Test match for five days from 10 am to 5 pm. I think it raises a big question mark on Test cricket if it is coming from the ICC chairman.”

India, insisted Thakur, was playing the highest number of Test matches in a year, at home and away as well. “BCCI’s intention is very clear – we are open to the changes, we have played with the pink ball, we have experimented with it, we will experiment in the next few rounds of the domestic matches as well. We are not in a hurry to implement the pink ball. If the experiment is successful, then yes, we can look into it.”

Was the Board serious about pulling out of the Champions Trophy next year? “Let the time come. BCCI is strong enough to take decisions. I said it is a hypothetical question whether to pull out or not to pull out but if the BCCI has to look after its interest and the global cricket’s interest I think we need to look at various areas.”

On the review petition in the Supreme Court, Thakur maintained, “Let’s wait for a couple of more weeks. The AGM will come, and you will get to know everything. The agenda is circulated, BCCI AGM will be held as scheduled on September 21.”