At the last year’s ICC World Cup finals, there was a huge cry among the top brass at ICC as to who would present the trophy to the winning captain. The unseen battle seemed like exaggerated claims by the media, until the time Mustafa Kamal, the then ICC President resigned from his post over the presentation fiasco.
Did he take it personally? Going by his outburst after an umpiring error which went against Bangladesh in the quarter-finals, the atmosphere was charged after Mustafa Kamal in his personal capacity aired his views on that error. It was difficult to separate when the opinions are said in personal tone and when in official capacity. Either way, he felt the pressure in the aftermath of venting his frustrations.
A snub at the presentation was the decider for Kamal as he quit his presidency post in protest of N. Srinivasan, who was then the ICC chairman, and the ICC representative who gave away the trophy.
Who gets to present the trophy? and more importantly, should administrators break a sweat after being snubbed, in what seems to be a ceremonious act, which had nothing to do with running the affairs of cricket?
History has shown time and gain, administrators are often stuck fighting and verbal duelling over these petty issues, when realistically, they are better off looking at the larger problems at hand.
Since then, even N. Srinivasan was not able to hold on to his chair for long. Pride goes before a fall!
The ICC is currently being served by two new gentlemen – Zaheer Abbas as the President and Shashank Manohar as the ICC chairman. Zaheer Abbas, so far has not made headlines over power play while the Nagpur based lawyer has been calling the shots and for the right reasons.
International sports organisations off late has been under immense scrutiny over a gamut of allegations that has seen the top chiefs either resigning or being suspended. Amidst all this chaotic sports administration, it is commendable to see Shashank Manohar lead the way instead of just going through the motions.
It isn’t just cricket, even other sports organisations should take a leaf out of Manohar’s actions on his return to cricket administration.
First, he set the BCCI in order and made the organisation as transparent as it needed to be in the first place. While there are issues that still needs to be resolved, the plans have been quickly rolled into actions – all of which are being much appreciated by his peers and the cricketing fraternity.
Next stop, he made a powerful statement ridiculing the concept of ‘Big Three’ consisting of India, Australia and England and instead wanted equal rights just as any sane organisation with a clear vision must function. And, it isn’t all muscling one’s clout, he emphasised the need of people who best suited the job instead of just have bench warmers. Even the hard-stoned critics have been left with no options but to clap their hands for what promises to be a new beginning for the ICC.
The job is not yet over as the resolutions must be changed at the ICC and at home, BCCI will soon have to adopt a new foundation as Supreme Court has come hard on them with regards to BCCI being a non-profit organisation. Shashank Manohar, being a lawyer is the right man to lead the transition, and it is this ‘much-awaited’ and anticipated change is what will put BCCI on the right track or should I say popular track.