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Back in the hot seat

Back in the hot seat
Highlights

Back in the hot seat. Shashank Manohar, who took over as the 36th President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday, is a man who is sworn to integrity given his past record.

Shashank Manohar, who took over as the 36th President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday, is a man who is sworn to integrity given his past record. However, unlike his first stint as the big boss, his second coming may not exactly be a rosy one, notwithstanding the fact that he has started off as a consensus candidate.

In contrast to his first innings, this time around things have been so dicey that one cannot discount the overriding possibility of some more scams getting exposed. In a Board that is wrought with characters who would not hesitate to align with a foe to take on a common enemy, the Nagpur-based trouble-shooting lawyer will soon realise that the hot seat is never a bed of roses.

It can never be. Manohar would do well if he sees into the immediate future and prepare some shock-absorbers, although he seems to be enjoying the support of every panel. The fact that should weigh in his mind is that he has always been known as a Sharad Pawar man. The NCP leader is as ambitious as the incumbent Secretary Anurag Thakur.

Their shedding political differences for the sake of cricket take origin in their common hatred for N Srinivasan, whose middle name appears to be ‘controversy’ and whose efforts to make a comeback were dashed at the eleventh hour. Today, one is not talking of whether Manohar can fill in Jagmohan Dalmiya’s shoes or not.

The new man has several challenges that stare at his face and may need the wily and deft skills of Dalmiya. Manohar is not exactly known for shrewd handling of issues except that he effectively thwarted bids by Srinivasan to hang on to power, either directly or indirectly earlier on.

His strict disciplinarian attitude was in extreme contrast to the ‘by hook or by crook’ manipulations of Srinivasan. This is where Manohar has reasons to fear as his bête noire is still holding on to power in his capacity as the Chairman of ICC, from which position he can still trouble the Manohars and Thakurs.

Srinivasan is not one who will take things lying low. As things stand, the first big challenge for Manohar will be on how he handles the hard-bargaining that is underway over the possible revival of a bilateral series between India and Pakistan. If one goes by his first statements since returning to power, Manohar is looking beyond the mundane.

His immediate priorities include framing rules on the issue of conflict of interests of administrators, players and their staff; a new probe and suggestive body to tackle match-fixing and making the functioning of the body transparent. The question is can he prove his point when he is pitted against three ambitious people who come from three different political parties. The troubles for Manohar may start sooner than later.

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