The Supreme Court of India has ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur, the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for not complying with its orders. Ajay Shirke, the secretary of the world's richest cricketing body, has also been sacked from his post.
"The Supreme Court passes an order directing the BCCI president and secretary to desist from any board functions from here on," the ruling said.
The latest development is the result of a long-standing impasse between the cricket board and the Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee, which was set up in January 2015 by the apex court to thoroughly clean up the board and its constitution.
The committee had proposed a series of reforms in the functioning of the board and gave a deadline until 3 December 2016. However, the BCCI refused to accept some of those measures putting up a combative tone.
Reacting to that the court had earlier told the board to "fall in line or we will make you fall in line".
The court has also sent a contempt notice to Thakur, who is a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, for committing "perjury". The senior-most vice president will now act as interim chief until a fresh arrangement is in place, said the court order. All the members of BCCI and state-run bodies have been asked to submit an undertaking that they will fulfil the Lodha Committee's recommendations.
Thakur and others have been given until 19 January to respond to their charges. The top court's verdict has sent shockwaves across the cricketing community, which has largely welcomed the crackdown on the politically influential and financially powerful board.
"If BCCI was reluctant to accept the Supreme Court's July order these consequences were bound to follow. I am sure the game of cricket will be governed as well as ever. The Supreme Court order should work as a template for other sports organisations too," warned the committee's last report.