MUMBAI: Former ICC president, Ehsan Mani has welcomed Shahsank Manohar as the International Cricket Council’s new independent Chairman on Thursday. He further warned the former BCCI Chief that there are many challenges ahead of him.
“Look, I don’t know him personally, but he’s been making the right noises so far. However, there’s a long way to go. Presently, world cricket faces some very serious challenges. I am hopeful Manohar is able to provide the right kind of strong leadership which the ICC needs currently,” Ehsan Mani said.
Mani, who held the post of ICC president from 2002 to 2006, said that it will be important for Shashank to restore the Indo-Pakistan cricket, “Manohar has to find a way to resume Indo-Pak cricket, which shouldn’t depend on the political climate of the two countries. He should insist that both have to honour their bilateral commitments.”
He advised the newly appointed ICC boss to visit Pakistan personally and make efforts to bring back international cricket in the country, “He must look to re-start international cricket in Pakistan. He can start on the right note if he himself visits the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board in Lahore. It will send a strong signal that the ICC is convinced about resumption of cricket in Pakistan, which should of course be done after satisfying a security protocol.”
Mani pointed out some of the issues that Manohar needs to address being a key man of the International Cricket Council, “Look at the situation of the game in the West Indies. Even leaders of the CARICOM (an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies) have said that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is dysfunctional, and isn’t run professionally. It’s high time that the ICC sits down with cricket officials there to attempt to solve the issues there, and provide it the necessary financial help to hire professionals in their Board and their team.”
He further added that the new ICC Chairman should look to promote cricket and help associate nations in developing the game in their territory, “He has to look at ways in which the ICC can help the associate nations in developing their cricket, including providing crucial funds to them.”
The former ICC President also added that Manohar has to take India in confidence regarding the DRS debate, it is unfair for the game that all nations are following a rule except India, “You can’t have two sets of rules in the game, where everybody is using DRS except India. The DRS has helped us achieve around 98 per cent accuracy in decision-making. I understand the BCCI has concerns about its accuracy, and there can be a healthy debate about it, but if at the end of it, if there is a feeling that it must be implemented universally, then India must fall in line.”
Ehsan Mani praised Shashank Manohar’s decision to distribute revenue among all the full member nations, which was disrupted by the trio of N Srinivasan (former ICC and BCCI chief), Giles Clarke (England and Wales Cricket Board chairman) and James Sutherland (Cricket Australia boss) some time back.
“It is the ‘poor’ cricketing nations which need more money, as compared to the richer ones, like India. This is what the Woolf Committee had suggested, but its report wasn’t even discussed,” said Mani.
Mani suggested that all directors of the Board in the ICC should also be independent similar to the ICC Chairman, “The system of the ICC having an ‘independent’ president (who doesn’t hold any position in his own board) was always there, before Srinivasan altered it. I think all the directors of the Board in the ICC should be ‘independent’ too, like it is in Australia and New Zealand, where the board of directors don’t hold any post in their own association.”
He stated that the ICC Chairman needs to be fair, he recalled his tenure, ““As an ICC chief, you’ve to be fair. During my stint, I put in a system where all the countries would only get funds from the ICC once they showed their audited accounts. I even stopped Pakistan’s funding when the PCB failed to provide this.”