Anurag Thakur, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has hit out at the International Cricket Council (ICC), in particular the president Shashank Manohar, over his remarks on the BCCI. Manohar had said that his priorities lay with the ICC and not the BCCI and that it wasn't his responsibility but that of the BCCI's representative to look after their interests at meetings.
The suggestion has irked Thakur, who feels that the board is being attacked and sidelined from the ICC, claiming that their voice is not being heard during ICC meetings. The BCCI is also currently facing a backlash from India's Supreme Court over structural reforms within the organisation.
A committee headed by Justice Lodha was appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the working of the BCCI. Its report ordered sweeping changes within the organisation aimed at ending the influence of a handful of regional affiliates and their ageing bosses.
"I think these (Lodha) recommendations and the change in ICC regime are arm twisting BCCI both at home and at the ICC which is not good for Indian cricket. The situation of BCCI- a global leader till the recommendation of the Lodha committee, now with the new ICC regime they are trying to sideline the BCCI, one of the most important stakeholders in global cricket today. Just because of one recommendation, we are not taken seriously," Thankur said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Thakur cited an example of India rejecting a proposal for a two-tier Test system which he felt would hurt cricket in the long run, especially in the smaller nations. Under the system, the top seven ranked teams would be pooled under Tier 1, where they will play bilateral series against each other during a period of four years.
Tier 2 would consist of teams ranked eighth (West Indies), ninth (Bangladesh) and tenth (Zimbabwe) plus two more associate teams who fill face each other with the prospect of relegation and promotion. While nations such as Australia, South Africa, England and New Zealand were for the move, the refusal of the BCCI to accept the two-tier system led to it being rejected by the ICC on 7 September, 2016.
"Yes, BCCI should look after its interests, but BCCI does not limit itself to look after BCCI's interests. If Manohar is saying that he has got nothing to do with the BCCI, BCCI is one of the 105 members and one of the most important stakeholders of the ICC today. When you talk about the two-tier Test system, BCCI could have got benefits by joining hands with associations like Australia and England, but we stood by countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and to an extent like West Indies."
The controversy between the BCCI and the ICC arose over the Indian board being unhappy over being excluded from a meeting of the ICC finance committee last week while also being miffed with the ICC's move to revoke the "Big Three" revenue model.