Shashank Manohar may get two months’ extension as ICC chairman

ECB chairman Colin Graves, who is supposed to step down in November 2020, has emerged as the favourite for the ICC top job.

Shashank Manohar became ICC chairman in 2016.   -  PTI

Shashank Manohar is expected to step down as the International Cricket Council chairman in June, 2020, but he may get a couple of months’ extension as the ICC Board Meeting is set to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In all likelihood, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves will replace the former BCCI president, who, it is learnt, has decided against seeking an extension for a third two-year-term.

“This is for sure that Manohar is going but he will probably stay on for another two months as the annual Board meeting in June looks highly unlikely at the moment considering the global situation,” an ICC Board member told PTI on the condition of anonymity. “So it might be in August that ICC will have a new chairman,” he added.

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The BCCI, however, remains wary of the Vidarbha lawyer, who was seen as an adversary by some in the board. “Till Manohar steps down officially, I will not like to believe [anything]. Seeing is believing. He still has a term left. If he decides at the last moment that he wants to continue then it will be a different story,” a BCCI veteran said.

Hong Kong’s Imran Khawaja’s name was initially floated as Manohar’s possible successor, but it is understood he doesn’t have the support of the full members. ECB chairman Graves, who is supposed to step down in November 2020, has emerged as the favourite for the ICC top job.

Solid support

Those in the know of ICC’s board-room politics feel Graves’ biggest advantage at this point is the support from all major Test-playing nations. “England, New Zealand, Australia and West Indies will support Graves’ candidature. He also shares a great rapport with BCCI although the world’s richest cricket board has not openly supported any candidate,” the Board member said.

It is expected that BCCI will have a better working relationship with Graves compared to Manohar, who has time and again been accused of not keeping the Indian interest in mind, unlike N. Srinivasan.

At ECB, Graves will be succeeded by former FA Chief Executive Ian Whatmore.

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