NEW DELHI: International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Shashank Manohar has written to the Justice RM Lodha panel, contradicting BCCI president Anurag Thakur’s stand before the Supreme Court. Thakur had said he never sought a letter from ICC on the lines that implementation of SC-directed reforms could lead to the board’s suspension.
Following ICC CEO David Richardson’s statement that Thakur had sought a letter from the body, the board president had filed an affidavit before the SC+ saying that he had never written to the ICC seeking a letter.
He had clarified that he had made an oral request to Manohar – who as president of BCCI had taken a stand that implementing the SC direction to include CAG nominee in board’s apex council would mean government interference in the working of the board, leading to its suspension by ICC – for a letter on the same lines. Thakur had said that Manohar had orally clarified that his stand against reforms was prior to July 18, when the SC passed the final judgement mandating implementation of the Lodha panel-recommended reforms. Manohar had, according to Thakur, said that once SC passed a judgement it would not be proper for ICC to write a letter to BCCI on implementation of reforms. The board president had said this clarification had brought the discussion to an end.
Justice Lodha told TOI: “On the basis of October 21 orders of the Supreme Court, committee secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan had written to ICC chairman Shashank Manohar for a clarification. We have not yet discussed the contents of the letter. The committee members – Justices Lodha, Ashok Bhan and R V Raveendran – will meet next week to decide whether ICC chief ‘s letter was required to be submitted to the Supreme Court in sealed cover.”
However, it is reliably learnt that Manohar has contradicted BCCI president’s stand before the SC. If this is proved, then both Anurag Thakur and Ratnakar Shetty, the latter having berated Richardson for his statement, would face heat from the SC bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur.
Asked about his experience in handling the implementation of reforms in BCCI, Justice Lodha said it had been “frustrating and disappointing” to find the cricket board stubbornly defiant of the orders of the highest court.
“The committee members are all Supreme Court judges. As men from judiciary, it is ingrained in us that the orders of the highest court must be implemented with respect. The manner in which the BCCI has responded so far, we will leave the matter as one between the Supreme Court and the cricket board,” the former CJI said.