BCCI ‘not running away’ from reforms: Thakur

Mumbai, May 22

The new chief of India’s embattled cricket board said on Sunday the body was not “running away” from reforms following corruption scandals, but he remained opposed to a key recommendation from the country’s top court.

Lawmaker Anurag Thakur, 41, was elected as the youngest-ever president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following a special meeting in Mumbai. Thakur, a member of parliament for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, is charged with reforming one of the most powerful organisations in world sport. He told a packed press conference after the meeting that the reforms were a continuous process, and the cash-rich BCCI was ready to take them to “the next level”. “Whatever is possible and practical and is required, we are implementing that from time to time. I see an opportunity here, it’s time to deliver,” he added.

However, he followed his predecessor Shashank Manohar in remaining intransigent on a Supreme Court recommendation calling for a ban on television adverts between overs during live broadcasts.

Thakur was the sole nomination on Sunday for the top post, seen by many as the most powerful in global cricket. He will have his hands full as the BCCI is under enormous pressure to introduce reforms after being tarnished by scandals including accusations of corruption and match-fixing in the glitzy Indian Premier League. In the wake of those scandals, the Supreme Court ordered a retired judge to draw up a report on the BCCI’s governance to try to avoid future conflicts of interest.