NEW DELHI: Shashank Manohar said his conscience forced him to resign as India’s cricket board chief after he walked away from the embattled organisation in a dispute over introducing wide-ranging reforms.
Manohar wrote to the powerful Indian board on Tuesday to announce his immediate resignation, a move expected to trigger his bid for re-election as chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Manohar, who had only been in the post since last October, had promised to clean up the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), whose reputation has been tarnished by several scandals involving the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the wake of the IPL scandals involving corruption and fixing, the Supreme Court ordered a retired judge to draw up a report on the BCCI’s governance in a bid to avoid future conflicts of interest.
Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha’s report recommended the BCCI introduce age limits for its office-bearers and a ban on television adverts between overs during live broadcasts.
But Manohar said some of the reforms were not in the BCCI’s best interests and he felt he could no longer carry on in his role.
“My conscience no longer permits me to continue,” Manohar told the Times of India in an interview published on Wednesday.
“I feel certain portions of the Lodha panel’s recommendations are not in the interests of the board. There is very little I can do in the current scenario.
“I am not disenchanted with the BCCI but with the overall scenario,” he said.
Manohar had returned for a second stint as BCCI president in October, after the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Manohar had pledged to clean up the board after being unanimously elected as head of what is the most powerful body in world cricket.
The 58-year-old lawyer was widely regarded as a safe pair of hands who could bring some much needed stability to the troubled board.
After becoming president, Manohar swiftly moved to reverse some of the recent rule changes that had been designed to give greater power to India, England and Australia.
Although some on Wednesday accused Manohar of abandoning the BCCI, others welcomed the move and his expected stand for re-election as ICC head.
Under reforms that Manohar had himself supported, it will soon no longer be possible to be ICC chairman and head the national board of a member country.