With the annual conference a little more than three weeks away, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman Shashank Manohar decided to announce that he is stepping down from his position. This has led to the former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry asking if this is a signal of the Indian boards increasing clout in the international body.
Reacting to the turn of events, former BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry told IANS that the development is purely on account of the increasing clout of the BCCI at the ICC and the apprehension that Atlas might shrug.
Another BCCI official who has seen Manohar function over the years said that while the decision to step down was his call, keeping the fate of the T20 World Cup hanging leaves a lot many questions unanswered.
"Was he incapable of taking a call on the World T20 if he knew he was going to step down? Why leave the decision hanging? To be honest there are only two possibilities, either he saw the writing on the wall or he lacked the conviction to push through the decision," the official said.
The official who also saw the ICC change its attitude towards the Indian board ever since the new dispensation has taken over, said that with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) gone and CEO Rahul Johri marginalised, it looks like Manohar wasn't enjoying the power he had in the CoA era.
"He could have continued till the new Chairman got elected had the Board approved. This points to his shrinking clout in the Board ever since the new BCCI dispensation took over from the CoA and the CEO was marginalised," the official pointed.
The ICC in its statement said: "ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar has stepped down after two, two-year tenures at its helm. The ICC Board met today and agreed that Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson until a successor is elected.
"The process for the Chairperson election is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week."
Commenting on Manohar's journey, ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: "On behalf of the ICC Board and staff and the whole cricket family, I would like to thank Shashank for his leadership and everything he has done for the sport as ICC Chairman. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future."
ICC Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja added: "Everyone on the ICC Board extends their wholehearted thanks to Shashank for the commitment he has shown to our sport. There is no doubt that cricket owes Shashank a debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport. He has left cricket and the ICC in a better place than he found it."