Shashank Manohar resigned as chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday to bring to an end a long innings in cricket administration. He had had a meeting with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai and member Vikram Limaye here on Tuesday evening.
Not specifying any reason for his abrupt decision to vacate the prestigious post, Manohar told Sporstar , “Honestly, my resignation has nothing to do with the ICC or its issues or the BCCI. It’s purely a personal decision. Personal reasons have to remain personal. I told my wife about my decision on Monday evening.”
After being elected as BCCI president for the second time in October 2015, the Nagpur-based lawyer resigned from the post in May 2016 to be subsequently elected as the first independent chairman of ICC, for a two-year term, ín May 2016.
“The ICC has confirmed it has received an email from Chairman Shashank Manohar tendering his resignation. The ICC Board will assess the situation and next steps before making a further announcement,” said an ICC press release.
Manohar sent an email communication to the ICC on Wednesday, but he informed his decision to leave the ICC before the start of his meeting with Rai and Limaye. The CoA chairman was keen to meet Manohar during the first Test match between India and Australia, in the last week of February at Pune, but the latter’s commitment to other engagements delayed the meeting by three weeks.
It is learnt from sources privy to what exactly went on during the meeting between Rai, Limaye and Manohar, the topic of discussion was about the “constitutional and financial changes” proposed by the ICC’s special working group that had received an overwhelming 7-2 support during the ICC Board meeting in Dubai in the first week of February.
Inducted as an ICC Board member four days after he was nominated to the CoA, and since he was not in full grasp of the goings-on in the ICC, Limaye voted against the governance and revenue-sharing model.
During the course of the meeting, Rai and Limaye conveyed categorically to Manohar that “since the CoA is only a temporary body, they will not be able to support the proposals worked around the theme of ‘equity’, especially with the prospect of a heavy cut from a previously proposed net revenue of $445 million (gross revenue of $570 million less an expenditure of $125 million), over the eight year 2016-2023 cycle, to the proposed net revenue of $290 million. The ICC Board is scheduled to meet in Dubai on April 26 and 27.
At their meeting on February 25, the CoA had discussed the ICC’s financial model with Rahul Johri (BCCI CEO), R.P. Shah (former GM, Commercial, BCCI), Dr. M.V. Sridhar (GM, Cricket Operations, BCCI) and Adarsh Saxena (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, attorney, BCCI) and resolved that “the BCCI should take all steps necessary to protect the interests of BCCI including by engaging with other ICC member countries and garner their support for the BCCI’s position on the proposed changes.”
The CoA gave clear hints that it would not go with the proposed financial changes and the Supreme Court’s observations on March 6 on the ICC’s revenue sharing model has only compelled it to strike a better bargain.
The Surpreme Court bench had said: “Let us get the facts clear. We have nothing to do with the ICC. We are also concerned that India, as a country, should get the best deal, it should get the money. Supposing there is a loss, a big loss of money, that has to be taken care of. The issue is how it should be taken care of in the best possible manner.”
Manohar’s resignation has surprised many, especially after he had initiated sweeping constitutional and financial changes in late 2015. “The Big Three (India, Australia and England) should not bully the ICC” was his famous statement.
It’s being speculated that Manohar resigned because the proposals may not receive two-thirds support at the next ICC Board meeting.
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