Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) Newly-elected Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur on Sunday said he was humbled and honoured to take over the top post.
The 41-year-old Thakur, also a Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh, got the backing of all the east zone members including Assam, Bengal, Tripura, Jharkhand and the National Cricket Club.
He was unanimously elected president for the remaining period of the 2014-17 term at the Special General Meeting (SGM) here on Sunday. He filed his nomination on Saturday.
Thakur will represent BCCI at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) executive board and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
Thakur took over the post from Shashank Manohar, who stepped down to take up the ICC chairman’s job.
Manohar took over the BCCI post after the sudden death of the then board president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
“I am humbled and honoured sitting here. It is a journey which started 16 years back in the small state of Himachal Pradesh, as the president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). Through the last 16 years, the members who have helped me and guided me at HPCA and BCCI, I would like to thank all the members,” Thakur told reporters here.
“Specially the BCCI members and members of the East Zone for giving me this opportunity. I am one of the lucky person in BCCI to have the opportunity to work with three finest cricket administrators in the world of cricket,” he said.
“Starting from Jagmohan Dalmiya, Manohar and N Srinivasan. I am grateful to Manohar for expressing his views. He is a seasoned administrator. He has also expressed that how 100 per cent implementation of recommendations won’t be feasible. The world knows how effectively run our board is. We have tried to mend our ways. There are always areas to improve.”
Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) chief and business tycoon Ajay Shirke was named the BCCI secretary, as per the rules to fill up the vacancy caused by Thakur’s resignation from that post.
Thakur said BCCI is in favour of implementing Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha committee’s recommendations.
“Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity, it all depends on one’s perspective. I see an opportunity that this is the time to deliver,” he said.
“We are not running away from Lodha committee recommendations but we are in favour of using recommendations which are practical. We have already done reforms much before Lodha Committee recommendations. We understand our responsibility towards the most popular sport in the country.”
Thakur also said that all state associations hosting Test matches in the upcoming year should provide for minimum 10 percent of their respective capacity as complimentary tickets for school children, girls and special abled.
Also all stadiums should have separate sitting arrangement for physically challenged so that they doesn’t have any problem.
The board also discussed the need for all international venues to adopt energy and water conservation and the board will centrally prepare a proposal for installation of rain water harvesting, sewerage water treatment plants, solar panels and use of LEDs.
It was proposed to set-up a corpus of Rs.100 crore towards the implementation of these initiatives.
Thakur also announced Rs.5 crore help towards deaf and dumb and visually impaired cricketers for the next five years.
The new BCCI president also mentioned that there is need for all member associations of the BCCI to have their own websites and social media presence within the next six months.