MUMBAI, Nov 9, (AFP): India’s cricket board toppled its scandal-tainted former supremo Narayanaswami Srinivasan from the helm of the game’s world governing body Monday as its leadership pledged a new era of clean governance.
Srinivasan, once the most powerful man in world cricket, will be replaced as chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) by Shashank Manohar who is also president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“The BCCI representative to the ICC will be Shashank Manohar,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur told reporters after the board’s annual general meeting in Mumbai.
“And by virtue of being the board’s representative to the ICC he will take over as the ICC chairman.” Srinivasan was appointed ICC chief in June last year after being chosen by the BCCI as India’s representative to the top role, which rotates every two years among cricketing nations.
But the cement tycoon’s reputation was badly dented by a number of corruption scandals that have hit the glitzy and lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
The 70-year-old agreed to step aside as BCCI chief after a Supreme Court panel found him guilty of a conflict of interest for having commercial dealings in the sport.
Srinivasan is managing director of India Cements, which owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise captained by India skipper Mahendra Dhoni.
India’s top court also found Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of illegal betting while serving as team principal at the Chennai Super Kings and banned him from all cricket-related activities.
The court panel this year suspended the Chennai Super Kings and another IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals, from the Twenty20 league for two years due to misconduct by its officials.
ICC rules state that an administrator who is removed by his home board cannot serve in the world governing body, which effectively ends Srinivasan’s tenure immediately.
Asked if he was pleased with his elevation, Manohar replied: “There is no question of satisfaction because I never aspired to this.”
The top post will be handed over to England in 2016 for two years, followed by a representative from Australia.
Srinivasan made light of his ouster, saying he can now go ahead and improve his golf handicap.
“It is the prerogative of the BCCI president to be the ICC chairman,” Srinivasan told NDTV.
“I want to focus on my cement business and use the spare time to improve my golf handicap.”
Cricket’s spiralling popularity in India helped make the BCCI the richest board under his stewardship and many smaller cricketing nations became increasingly reliant on India’s largesse.
But Srinivasan was also blamed for the ills surrounding the cash-rich, but faction-ridden, BCCI following the Supreme Court inquiry which led to his downfall.
Manohar, who served as BCCI president between 2008 and 2011, took over a second time in October following the death of incumbent Jagmohan Dalmiya on September 20.
Manohar, a lawyer by profession, launched a clean-up act to improve the image of the BCCI and ensure it worked as a transparent and honest body.
“All the members of the board were unanimous in their approach and were interested in seeing that it functions in a most transparent manner,” Manohar said after the AGM.
“Everybody spoke in the meeting in favour of clean and transparent functioning of the board.”
Former ICC president AHM Mustafa Kamal on Monday welcomed Srinivasan’s removal as chairman.
Kamal resigned from ICC in April this year following a row with Srinivasan over his decision to hand the trophy to winning captain Michael Clarke at the World Cup final prize-giving ceremony in Melbourne.
Srinivasan was booed by thousands in the crowd after taking the honour from Kamal.
“This man (Srinivasan) was a bad sore. It is a good news for the game,” Kamal said in a statement.
Another former ICC president Sharad Pawar will be the BCCI’s alternate representative in the ICC if Manohar is unable to attend meetings, a tweet from the board said.
The BCCI also appointed former judge Ajit Prakash Shah as an independent ombudsman to settle internal disputes.