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Ego first, the BCCI way

He came with the reputation of being an honest and straightforward man, a hard taskmaster.

Published: 20th March 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2017 12:19 AM   |  A+A-

He came with the reputation of being an honest and straightforward man, a hard taskmaster. But now he leaves after being labelled irresponsible and impulsive, someone who always needs to have his way. A dramatic fall, considering he was hailed as a messiah by the cricket establishment. But that is how Shashank Manohar has chosen to be remembered, by the BCCI and the ICC. How else do you describe a person who takes charge of two high-profile bodies, in different stages of transition, one after another and leaves months into the job, as if he could not care less? Abandoning the BCCI six months after being brought back as president to steer an organisation in disarray, and quitting the ICC weeks before a crucial meeting after just nine months as chairman, have other features in common. Apart from a striking nonchalance in announcing these decisions, there is prominent ego in play here.

Manohar left the BCCI because he wanted the top post in world cricket. Having worked with three former BCCI presidents who got there, he too wanted to know how it felt. Indications are that he gave up the ICC post after realising that the financial restructuring he wanted to implement had hit roadblocks. Both point to putting one’s self before the organisation. Overlooked in the Lodha report on more tangible issues is ego, an old BCCI trait. Big names before Manohar have indulged in this practice of sacrificing institutional goals for personal vindication.

That the board has often treated such acts as gallant instead of discouraging them, has a lot do with the situation it finds itself in. A product of this system who diligently portrayed a different image, Manohar revealed his other side out of a sense of a failure—on realising that what he wanted was not going to happen. There is thus the positive of rediscovering this characteristic of India’s cricket officialdom. The negatives are for the BCCI and ICC to count.

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