The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elected its former secretary, Anurag Thakur, as the new President of the cricketing body on Sunday morning. The BCCI Board took the decision today during a special general meeting in Mumbai. This makes Thakur the youngest-ever BCCI President.
Thakur filed his nomination for the post after resigning as BCCI Secretary and getting the signatures of all six east zone units — Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), Assam CA, Tripura CA, NCC and Jharkhand SCA.
The rules require only one unit to nominate a name for the post of the Board's President.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Thakur told reporters that as the BCCI President, he was in favour of implementing the Lodha Committee recommendations 'which were practical'.
Last year, the Lodha Committee had made several recommendations for BCCI, including bringing the cricketing body under RTI and banning politicians from the BCCI hierarchy. Thakur is a Bharatiya Janata Party MP in Lok Sabha.
We are not running from Lodha committee recommendations, we are in favour of that: Anurag Thakur, BCCI President pic.twitter.com/LSIcSKtgmO— ANI (@ANI_news) May 22, 2016
Meanwhile, in the backdrop of protests against IPL matches scheduled in drought-hit states, Thakur said that the BCCI would look into making the current cricket stadiums more energy-efficient. He also announced that the BCCI would conduct energy audit of stadiums research on how rain harvesting systems, solar panels can be installed there. All future stadiums would be green stadiums in India, with BCCI's help, he said.
BJYM congratulates Anurag Ji for being elected as a new BCCI president unopposed.He is the youngest man to do so. pic.twitter.com/P0veEkvrav— BJYM (@BJYM) May 22, 2016
Thakur also added that the BCCI wanted to make Test Cricket popular again. "We are going to host 13 test matches this year," he said. CAB chief Sourav Ganguly had made similar statements earlier today.
Despite the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket and the IPL, the former skipper of the Indian cricket team said day-night cricket in India is "a must" and that test cricket is the best for the game. "That's the ultimate challenge and judgment of a player's ability and reputation," he said. He added that day-night cricket needs some innovation, but it is the best way forward.
Thakur has his job cut out for him, with a series of recent controversies that have plagued the cricketing body. It is currently facing heat from the Supreme Court to implement the Justice RM Lodha Committee's recommendations for sweeping reforms. The post of BCCI President had been lying vacant since Shashank Manohar stepped down earlier this month to become ICC Chairman.
"He has to carry the legacy of people who have been before him," said CAB chief Sourav Ganguly to ANI. "I'm sure Indian cricket will be looked after well."
"Every job comes with challenges, but I don't think its a crown of thorns."
Meanwhile, Ajay Shirke was nominated as BCCI secretary by Thakur.
(with ANI inputs)
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