Shashank Manohar has agreed to defer his resignation from the post of chairman of the International Cricket Council, with the ICC Board resolution requesting him to stay on being passed with “overwhelming support” earlier this week.
“I respect the sentiments expressed by the Directors and the confidence they have reposed in me. In the light of this, and although my decision to depart due to personal reasons has not changed, I am willing to continue as Chairman till the responsibility as per the resolution is complete,” said Manohar in a statement on Friday (March 24).
“I have duty to work with my colleagues to enable a smooth transition and continue our work on the governance of the ICC.”
Manohar had resigned a little over a week ago on March 15 citing personal reasons, stepping down after just eight months, having earlier been elected unopposed for a period of two years.
He has been the driving force in trying to undo some of the changes brought in by the Big Three model and putting in place the new ICC constitution, which will be put to vote in April. There were fears in certain sections that with him out of the picture, the document will not be passed.
The ICC have taken steps to try and abolish control of the sport’s revenues being largely in the hands of the boards of India, England and Australia, which was a feature of the Big Three model. They voted to undo big portions of those changes in the ICC Board meeting in February in Dubai though the Board of Control for Cricket in India voiced their objection to the new proposal, saying there was no scientific basis behind the revised model.
Time was given to all members till the April meeting to suggest changes.
Vikram Limaye, one of the four members of the BCCI’s Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, who articulated the board’s opposition to the revised model in the February meeting, said that the BCCI had a productive meeting with Manohar prior to the latter’s sudden resignation, and called for all current issues to be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
“It is important that the current issues are resolved to everyone’s satisfaction,” said Limaye following Manohar rescinding of his resignation. “We had a productive meeting with Mr Manohar recently (prior to his resignation) wherein we outlined the concerns of BCCI on the financial model and governance issues and our suggestions for resolution. We are committed to working with ICC for a satisfactory resolution of these issues.”
David Peever, the Cricket Australia chairman, said that the ICC Board’s resolution asking Manohar to stay on signified that in principle, the ICC Board agreed with the philosophy of the reform process even if specific details needed ironing out. “This resolution is a clear indication that whilst the Board may not yet agree on the detail of our reform process, we are committed to the overarching philosophies of it,” he said. “We all believe that Shashank should be the man to see it through and whilst respectful of a decision made for personal reasons, we are delighted that he has agreed to remain in post until the completion of the 2017 Annual Conference where we can elect a successor.”
Giles Clarke meanwhile said, “I am delighted that Shashank has agreed to remain as Chairman of the ICC. The ECB has been heavily involved in the efforts of the Working Party and we are committed to the new structure and will continue to support Shashank as he leads this vital process.”
Significantly, Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, said Manohar was needed in the ICC at this juncture and had the BCB’s “full support”. It had been reported in several media outlets that the BCCI had firmed up opposition to the revised financial model, with the BCB one of the boards supporting India. Hassan, though, said, “For the greater interest of cricket, we need Shashank as the Chairman of ICC especially at this critical juncture. He can be assured of our full support.”
In the February meeting, only the BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket had voted against the new constitution, while Zimbabwe Cricket had abstained from voting. Following Manohar’s surprise resignation, it was thought that the BCCI had the numbers to prevent a new constitution from being adopted, with the BCB and ZC also named as boards that would not vote them in.