BCCI ex-chief Anurag Thakur apologises over court contempt

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Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur — AFP
Shukriya Pakistan

NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board’s former president Anurag Thakur gave an “unconditional apology” Monday to the Supreme Court which had ordered his dismissal from the game’s most powerful body in January.

Thakur faces a court petition later this month for allegedly obstructing the implementation of a series of recommendations from a panel led by a retired judge to reform the administration of the board.

But at a session of court where the date for the full hearing was set for April 17, Thakur’s lawyer P S Patwalia read a statement in which his client “tendered my unconditional and unqualified apology”.

“I had not intended to file any false information,” the statement added, which was delivered by Patwalia as Thakur sat alongside him.

Thakur was dismissed at the start of the year after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) consistently stalled on implementing the reforms proposed by a former top judge, Rajendra Mal Lodha, and which had been endorsed by the court.

The proposals included setting age and term limits on office bearers within the board.

India’s Supreme Court has since appointed a top anti-corruption troubleshooter, Vinod Rai, as head of a team to oversee the running of the powerful cricket board.

Cricket’s massive popularity in India has helped the BCCI become by far the wealthiest of all of the sport’s national boards, netting massive money from sponsorship and TV deals.

But it has also been embroiled in a series of scandals, including accusations of corruption and match-fixing that tarnished the Indian Premier League (IPL) — the board’s lucrative Twenty20 competition.

A corruption and match-fixing scandal in the sixth edition of the IPL in 2013 brought about the downfall of the board’s then-president Narayanaswami Srinivasan after his son-in-law was accused of betting on matches.

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