KOLKATA: ICC chairman and BCCI president Shashank Manohar's terse four-line resignation letter on Tuesday raised the temperature in global cricket circles by several degrees. Even as his colleagues in the BCCI went into a huddle to chalk out the future course of action, the Nagpur-based lawyer was weighing his options. Manohar, who is currently holidaying with his family in Mahableshwar, spoke to TOI at length over phone and explained his stand, which has taken many by surprise.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview...
What prompted you to resign from the BCCI?
If you recall, I was not very keen to return to the BCCI for a second stint. After Jagmohan Dalmiya's sudden demise, when board members requested that I lead the BCCI again, I agreed because I felt it was time for me to give back something to the institution that serves Indian cricket. After taking over as the BCCI president for the second time (in October) I did my best and brought in major changes in the organisation. 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. My conscience no longer permits me to continue.
And why did you resign as the ICC chairman?
I took over as ICC chairman by virtue of being the BCCI nominee. After resigning from the BCCI, it would have been unethical on my part to continue as ICC chairman. That's why I have resigned from both posts.
Aren't you leaving the BCCI at a critical juncture?
I took over the BCCI reins at a critical juncture, when it badly needed reforms. I am happy to say that I have successfully driven reforms in the past seven months and the BCCI is in a better shape now. I have always maintained that the institution is always greater than the individual and I am sure my colleagues will take it forward.
Are you disenchanted with the BCCI? Did you discuss this with other board members?
I am not disenchanted with the BCCI, but with the overall scenario. I shared my thoughts with my colleagues over the past couple of months. I must say there was pressure on me to continue but I have never felt comfortable hanging on to any post without contributing significantly.