01 Jun

The election of Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) becomes necessary this year following incumbent chairman Shashank Manohar’s decision to not seek an extension. Colin Graves of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is tipped to be his successor, but this will change if the BCCI wants one of its own chairing the world body and nominates a candidate to fight for the post.

The BCCI still seems to be thinking whether to support a candidate or field one according to India’s Express News Service today. The perception was that Manohar protected the interests of other boards more than India’s. By its estimates, BCCI should earn about 15 per cent more than what it is getting as share of ICC’s profits and have a vested interest in having its own man heading the ICC.

A valid candidate has to be a former or present member of the ICC Board, which consists of the heads of 12 Test-playing boards and three from associate members. He or she also must have attended at least one ICC Board meeting. Sourav Ganguly (pictured above left) is eligible and so is N Srinivasan (pictured middle). The other person from India who fulfils the criteria is Anurag Thakur

Ganguly’s name has emerged prominently following Cricket South Africa’s Graeme Smith’s statement that the current BCCI president is the right man to take up the post after Manohar. But it remains to be seen if he wants this post.

Just over six months into the BCCI president’s chair, Ganguly has to vacate it if he becomes ICC chairman. It might make sense for him to make the move if the Supreme Court rejects the BCCI’s plea to modify the cooling-off rule. Ganguly has to take a break from cricket administration in India in that case. But it is not clear when the matter will come up for hearing, which makes it a tricky call, considering that the ICC Board is expected to decide on June 10 on the process of filing nominations for the chairman’s post. Also pending in the court is the BCCI’s application seeking clarifications on the eligibility of representatives it wants to send to the ICC.

Srinivasan’s candidature depends on this verdict, since the former BCCI president is not eligible to hold a position in India anymore. It has to be seen if the 75-year-old wants to take up the position he held from 2014 to 2015.

Thakur’s case is different. This former BCCI president is a good choice according to some, but his political commitments may come in the way if he wants to take up the ICC post. Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, it is believed that Thakur has not been approached by the BCCI, nor has he expressed interest. For him to make up his mind and for the board to put forward his name, things have to start happening soon.

With not much time remaining and its petitions yet to be listed for hearing, it will be challenging for BCCI to zero in on a name. Expect an answer in the next few days.

John Stephenson


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