AJAY Shirke, the newly-elected Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), believes that the new team has to focus on streamlining the premier cricket body by setting up efficient processes so that it functions smoothly, irrespective of who is leading it.
Former chairman of Maharashtra Cricket Board (MCA) and Pune-based business magnate, Shirke (58), said that he shares an ‘excellent’ equation with the new President, Anurag Thakur, and that he is confident of the new team.
“I resigned from the BCCI in May 2013 and now, it’s exactly three years. It’s been quite some time and I will have to go study and analyse the situation before I get into the nitty-gritty’s of the Board’s functioning. However, as far as my personal goal is concerned, setting up efficient processes and mechanism at the body to streamline the system is the way ahead. The processes should be such that it shouldn’t matter who’s in the driver’s seat. It has to work smoothly all the time,” Shirke told The Indian Express at his residence in Pune.
About his relation with Thakur whom he describes as an “excellent person and a dynamic human being”, Shirke said he didn’t have any doubt that Thakur would lead the body in a responsible manner.
“I know him for long. He was the BCCI Secretary when I was the Treasurer. We share a good equation and I see him as an excellent person and a dynamic human being who is not afraid of calling spade a spade. We have an excellent new team which will take challenges head on,” said Shirke.
Shirke refused to comment on the Supreme Court directives saying the final judgment is awaited.
“The judgment is yet to come and it’s expected shortly. Perhaps in mid-July. Until then, whatever I say will be nothing but mere speculation,” said Shirke.
On BCCI’s tainted image, he said, “I’m not saying that the Board has no lacunae. It has but it’s not as useless as it’s portrayed by the media. Imagine, despite all these allegations, dozens of court cases, it’s functioning and not only that, it has successfully organised so many successful tournaments, including the World Cup. Despite last minute directives to shift the IPL matches outside Maharashtra, it held as many as eight to nine matches in other venues without a glitch. So the situation is not that bad,” said Shirke, adding that there was still scope for improvement and the task is cut out for the new body.
In May 2013, Shirke had resigned from the post of BCCI Treasurer and had blamed the then President for inappropriate handling of the spot-fixing and corruption allegations that had come up during IPL Season 6.