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Shashank Manohar has resigned as International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman after just eight months in office, citing personal reasons. “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,” he wrote in a letter to ICC CEO David Richardson.
He is known to be a private man, who keeps his cards close to his chest, but his decision hasn’t shocked the Indian cricket world. BCCI officials who have worked with him see parallels in the way he quit BCCI president post last year.
According to them, he preempts failure in situations spiralling out of his control by quitting. And there are those who think he quits when he feels he is left with no other option. The past few months have seen stormy developments against his favour.
It started with the BCCI opposition to Manohar’s plan to slash India’s share of revenue in his aims to seek equitable distribution of ICC revenue.
The Indian cricket board was initially outnumbered 2-7 in ICC meeting in February but have since rebounded by increasing their support base within member countries.
Bangladesh, who played a Test in India last month, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe, have thrown their lot with BCCI, and ICC rules dictate 2/3rd majority for any reforms.
His stand was also opposed by the Supreme Court-appointed Committed of Administrators (COA) led by Vinod Rai – and comprising Ram Guha, Vikram Limaye and Diana Edulji, as evidenced in the recorded meeting minutes of COA which talked about protecting India’s interests.
Rollback of the Big Three
The final decision over the rollback of what came to be known as the Big Three model – in 2014, led by then BCCI president N Srinivasan, India, England and Australia proposed taking a big share of revenue – was to be taken in April but Manohar has now left ICC looking for a new chairman.
The BCCI officials aren’t shocked by Manohar’s sudden decision. They talk about how he had quit as BCCI president after it became clear that Supreme Court was going to order the BCCI to enforce the Lodha panel recommendations.
In the current scenario, they feel that he has quit because he knew his decision to rollback the revenue model would be blocked in April.
In its response, ICC issued a release: “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.”