Shashank Manohar resigns as ICC chairman; Cites personal reasons for decision

Shashank Manohar resigns as ICC chairman; Cites personal reasons for decision

Shashank Manohar resigns as ICC chairman; Cites personal reasons for decision

International Cricket Council's (ICC) first independent chairman, Shashank Manohar, has resigned on 15 March citing personal reasons. Manohar was elected unopposed back in May, 2016. An independent chairman is one not affiliated to any of its member boards.

"I have tried to do my best and have tried to be fair and impartial in deciding matters in the functioning of the Board and in matters related to Member Boards along with the able support of all Directors," Manohar said in a letter directly addressed to ICC chief executive David Richardson. "However, for personal reasons, it is not possible for me to hold the august office of ICC Chairman and hence I am tendering my resignation as Chairman with immediate effect. I take this opportunity to thank all the Directors, the Management and staff of ICC for supporting me wholeheartedly. I wish ICC all the very best and hope it achieves greater heights in future."

"The ICC has confirmed it has received an email from Chairman Shashank Manohar tendering his resignation. The ICC Board will assess the situation and next steps before making a further announcement," the ICC stated in a brief press release.

Manohar served just eight months of his two-year term. In the past, Manohar has been two-time president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Manohar was one of the people who didn't completely side with the functioning of the BCCI. He was the driving force behind the step back from the creation of a new governance structure by the Big Three - BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England Cricket Board (ECB) - back in 2014.

In fact, just last month, the ICC passed a new constitution, in principle, that unseated the balance of finances and power of the Big Three. However, a final decision will be taken only in April.

As we now know, Manohar will not be there to preside over those meetings, leaving the fate of the proposed changes uncertain.

Sources in the media are saying that the BCCI has found a way to block the constitutional changes that were all set to be passed by the ICC and this was the reason for Manohar's sudden resignation. BCCI, for its part, seem to think that, as ICC chairman, Manohar hasn't carried forward the board's vested interests. Even the exciting Test Championship is now in doubt.

Any reform that is to be passed needs a 2/3rd majority. At the moment, one can assume that BCCI has the support of its neighbours Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and some sources in the media say they also have the support of Zimbabwe. All BCCI need is a group of four to block the reforms.

The ICC will now appoint an interim chairman and subsequently will hold an election to find a replacement. Giles Clarke is seen as the frontrunner to win the next election.

Dual president

Before becoming ICC's first independent chairman, Manohar was BCCI president as well as ICC chairman. This happened after he replaced N Srinivasan as BCCI president in November, 2015. Simply by being BCCI president, he became ICC chairman.

This was also the time when he stepped out of the BCCI hole and told everyone what he really thought. "I don't agree with the three major countries bullying the ICC. That's my personal view because as I have always said, an institution is bigger than individuals," Manohar said. 

His time as dual president lasted just six months as the Lodha Committee began its shake-up of the BCCI. When the Lodha Committee recommended changes in the administrative structure, Manohar's first reaction was to resign as BCCI president. Just two days later, though, Manohar was elected as ICC's first independent chairman.

The letter in full

Here's the full letter Shashank Manohar sent to ICC CEO David Richardson:

To, David Richardson, Chief Executive, ICC.

Dear David,

I was elected unopposed as the first independent Chairman of ICC last year.

I have tried to do my best and have tried to be fair and impartial in deciding matters in the functioning of the Board and in matters related to Member Boards along with the able support of all Directors.

However, for personal reasons, it is not possible for me to hold the august office of ICC Chairman and hence I am tendering my resignation as Chairman with immediate effect.

I take this opportunity to thank all the Directors, the Management and staff of ICC for supporting me wholeheartedly.I wish ICC all the very best and hope it achieves greater heights in future.

Best Regards, Shashank Manohar

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