A day before taking over as BCCI treasurer, Arun Thakur vowed to regain India’s preeminent position in the International Cricket Council (ICC).
BCCI members believe that India has lost a lot of revenue under the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, and India is no longer looked at as the undisputed powerhouse of world cricket.
“BCCI had a leadership position in ICC and it was the most professional board. ICC would look up to BCCI on how to make the most out of cricket. Unfortunately in the last three years, BCCI has lost that position, so we want it to regain that leadership position with which the world cricket will benefit,” Arun, the younger brother of former BCCI president and current Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, told The Indian Express.
He says the incoming regime will take up the new revenue-sharing model mooted by the world governing body, which Arun believes is not amenable to the BCCI.
“So our revenues have come down, the programme which is doing the rounds in ICC, it doesn’t work well for BCCI. So we want to have a fresh look at that, talk to them so that we don’t lose our revenue. Because those revenues will benefit our cricketers, be it international or first-class cricketers.”
Arun was elected as Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president after his brother Anurag couldn’t contest election due to Lodha Committee’s recommendations. However, the latter remains an important figure in the Indian board. There will be several new office-bearers among the BCCI top brass but Arun says they have enough experience.
“It’s a young team which has taken over with lots of experience, what Sourav has done for his state associations and what Jay bhai has done for his state association for Gujarat — he is making the world’s biggest stadium. They have experience and we like to use that experience,” he explains.
Like Sourav Ganguly, the new BCCI president, Arun too felt the BCCI needs to look after first-class cricketers and they will be the priority for the new body taking over officially on Wednesday.
“Once a player goes to the international level, they get all major benefits but when it comes to first-class level, not everyone gets the best. Not everyone makes it to the international level but they have given their 10-15 crucial years to cricket. We want a better deal for them,” Arun points out.
When asked how his elder brother influenced him, he reminds how it was during Anurag’s tenure that Himachal Pradesh developed much-needed cricket infrastructure. He doesn’t hesitate to say that he will take guidance from his brother who was removed from the BCCI top post by the Supreme Court.
“When he took over as president in Himachal in 2000, nobody could imagine any cricket infrastructure in the state. Himachal was associated with BCCI since 1984, nobody could have ever imagined a Himachal cricketer representing India. The kind of infrastructure he has built and cricketers we have, we are proud that before any male cricketer could represent India, Sushma Verma represented India. It shows the kind of effort that has gone into it and it is Anuragji’s singlehanded effort,” he said.
Ganguly takes over today
One of India’s most decorated captains Sourav Ganguly will be taking over as the 39th president of the BCCI on Wednesday at its AGM, ending a tumultuous 33-month reign of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators. Ganguly is the unanimous nomination for the post of BCCI president along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay as the secretary. Mahim Verma of Uttarakhand is the new vice-president.