Anurag Thakur was today unanimously elected as the youngest BCCI President post-Independence, taking up the most high-profile position in Indian cricket administration at a time when the Board is sailing in choppy waters.
The 41-year-old replaced Shashank Manohar who quit the position to take up the ICC chairman’s job.
Senior BCCI vice-president C K Khanna chaired the Special General Meeting (SGM) and announced Thakur’s name for the top job.
Manohar’s exit from the top post barely seven months into his tenure had necessitated the election of the new chief of the world’s richest and most powerful cricket body.
Thakur, who resigned as the Secretary of the Board, got the signatures of all six east zone units in his BCCI presidential nomination form yesterday, paving the way for his unanimous choice as the 34th President of the august cricket body.
In a show of solidarity yesterday, all the six east units – Cricket Association of Bengal, Assam CA, Tripura CA, NCC and Jharkhand SCA – had signed his nomination papers even though the rules required only one unit to nominate the name of the presidential candidate. It was the East zone’s turn this time.
Thakur, now, has the prerogative to pick his replacement for the Secretary’s position which is expected to happen today itself and Maharashtra Cricket Association chief and business magnate Ajay Shirke is all set to take that position.
The BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh will be taking over the reins of the embattled Board in rather tough times as the BCCI is facing heat from the Supreme Court to implement the Justice R M Lodha Committee’s recommendations for sweeping reforms.
Thakur, incidentally, will go into the books as the first first-class cricketer to turn BCCI president after Raj Singh Dungarpur lay down office in 1998-99.
Although cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar had held the post jointly with another Test cricketer Shivlal Yadav briefly, specifically in charge of IPL affairs, that had been done at the direction of the Supreme Court which ordered then President N Srinivasan to step aside in the wake of the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.
While Raj had played 86 first-class matches for Rajasthan and the then Madhya Bharat as a medium pacer and also claimed 206 wickets, Thakur has represented HP in a lone Ranji Trophy game as a right-hand batsman and off break bowler in 2000-11 season.
Thakur is also the third person backed by East Zone to be elected to the top post during the 2014-1017 period.
Jagmohan Dalmiya, who was the consensus candidate after Srinivasan’s exit, died in office last year and Manohar took over in October, 2015.