New boss Manohar vows to clean India's image in second innings

INDIA: Newly-elected president Shashank Manohar vowed to clean the image of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being chosen on Sunday to head the world's richest cricket board for a second time.

A respected cricket administrator who does not carry a mobile phone or wear a watch, Manohar's unopposed election fills the void left by former International Cricket Council chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, who died last month.

Manohar headed BCCI from 2008-2011 and seemed to have no illusions about the job in hand as he took charge of a board perceived as an efficient but opaque body run by political bigwigs and industrialists with conflicting interests.

"The first priority is to clean the image of the board and restore the faith of the cricket-loving fans," said Manohar, whose appointment has been seen as a setback for ICC chairman and former BCCI president N. Srinivasan.

Srinivasan's India Cements company owned the Chennai franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and many saw it as a case of conflict of interest on the part of the former board chief.

Chennai, along with Rajasthan, was slapped with a two-year suspension in July after Srinivasan's son-in-law and team official Gurunath Meiyappan was found guilty of illegal betting.

A vocal critic of Srinivasan's style of functioning as BCCI president, Manohar promised more transparency in his second innings as the board chief.

"There is... grievance that the board is not transparent, everything is kept under the wraps," Manohar said following his appointment.

"Nothing wrong is being done by the board. It's a perception which has been created in the mind of the people that because information does not come out, there is something wrong in this board."

The board would soon put its constitution, expenditure details and balance sheet on its website to "clear that myth and change the perception", added the 58-year-old lawyer from Nagpur.

The BCCI has been grappling with a fixing and betting scandal around the IPL and has spent significant time defending itself in the apex court.

Manohar said the board would appoint an independent ethics officer who would look into cases of conflict of interests involving players and administrators.

He also promised central contracts for women cricketers, revival of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, and financial accountability in the state units.