One favourite pastime of the Board of Control for Cricket in India is to bully the International Cricket Council. Apart from securing its interests, these acts often convey an announcement of power. From confrontation over suspension of players to not accepting the Decision Review System, the board makes sure it has the last word and sometimes, the better of both worlds.
If the late Jagmohan Dalmiya showed how to dominate a world body of 10 votes and how dramatically TV profits can improve its financial health, those succeeding him made it dependent on the Indian market. Anurag Thakur is doing what he saw Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar and N Srinivasan try, with varying degrees of success. Manohar’s elevation to the post of ICC chairman was not expected to change this. Not because the former BCCI president abandoned a sinking ship and used it as a platform to fulfil personal ambitions. It’s almost like this: To be somebody in the board, you must be able to influence equations in ICC. By getting four to oppose proposals in the house of 10, apart from blunting talks relating to the economic betterment of other boards, Thakur has enhanced credentials back home. Manohar as part of BCCI was no different. India started opposing DRS since its inception when he was president. The ICC has undergone a significant structural change by having an independent chairman who doesn’t hold a position in his home board.
Unlike Dalmiya, Pawar or Srinivasan, Manohar doesn’t represent BCCI. But for Thakur, the target remains the same. Manohar’s ideas of introducing the post of independent chairman or working towards equal distribution of profits might have received the majority’s support, but as far as BCCI is concerned, characters are not on the same page. Don’t expect an end to statements like “I’m the ICC chairman, not BCCI’s” or “He must explain what he’s saying” just yet.