MUMBAI: Anurag Thakur was on Sunday unanimously elected as the BCCI president, while Ajay Shirke was chosen as secretary in a smooth change of guard at a time when the world’s richest Board is sailing through choppy waters.
The 41-year-old Thakur replaced Shashank Manohar who quit the position to take up the ICC chairman’s job. The Maharashtra Cricket Association chief and business magnate Shirke expectedly filled in the secretary’s post which was left vacant by Thakur’s resignation on Saturday. Senior BCCI vice-president CK Khanna chaired the Special General Meeting (SGM) and announced Thakur’s name for the top job.
Manohar’s exit from the top post barely seven months into his tenure had necessitated the election of the new chief of the world’s richest and most powerful cricket body.
Thakur, who resigned as the secretary of the Board, got the signatures of all six east zone units in his BCCI presidential nomination form on Saturday, paving the way for his unanimous choice as the 34th President of the august cricket body.
In a show of solidarity on Saturday, all the six east units – Cricket Association of Bengal, Assam CA, Tripura CA, NCC and Jharkhand SCA – had signed his nomination papers even though the rules required only one unit to nominate the name of the presidential candidate. It was the East zone’s turn this time.
Maharashtra Cricket Association chief and business magnate Ajay Shirke, who was top-contender for the post, has also been unanimously appointed as the secretary of the Board.
The BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh will be taking over the reins of the embattled Board in rather tough times as the BCCI is facing heat from the Supreme Court to implement the Justice R M Lodha Committee’s recommendations for sweeping reforms.
Thakur, incidentally, will go into the books as the first first-class cricketer to turn BCCI president after Raj Singh Dungarpur lay down office in 1998-99.
Although cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar had held the post jointly with another Test cricketer Shivlal Yadav briefly, specifically in charge of IPL affairs, that had been done at the direction of the Supreme Court which ordered then President N Srinivasan to step aside in the wake of the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.