My job is to protect ICC’s interests, says Shashank Manohar

MUMBAI (TIP): Shashank Manohar’s critics feel that he has let the BCCI down – first by deserting the ship just when the whole foundation was about to be hit by the Supreme Court-constituted Lodha Committee report, and then by ignoring India’s interests after being voted as the chairman of ICC.

Speaking exclusively to TOI, the 58-year-old clarified his stance on issues which have seen him lose the confidence of the top officials of BCCI…

There is a growing feeling in BCCI that you’re not protecting India’s interests in the ICC?

As an independent chairman of the world body, I’m there to protect the ICC’s interests, and not the BCCI’s.

BCCI is upset that ICC has earmarked a budget as high as $135 million (approx) as the organisational cost for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, whereas India received only $45 million for organising the World T20 earlier this year…

This $135 million is a factually wrong figure. The budget for the 2016 World T20 was $ 55m, which included the production cost too. The budget that has been earmarked for the Champions Trophy is $46m, which includes the production cost for the event. You must remember that the cost of accommodation and travel is much more in England than in India.

It’s believed that both you and the ICC back the introduction of the two-tier system in Test cricket, which the BCCI has staunchly opposed…

I had made it clear at the ICC meeting of Chief Executives (CECs) and the Board of Directors in Edinburgh that since this involved an issue regarding bilateral series rights, it shouldn’t be discussed on the ICC platform. The ICC only acted as a facilitator while organising an informal meeting of representatives of the countries in Dubai, which wasn’t attended by CECs. We didn’t pay for the expenses towards that meeting. Personally , I was against the idea, because the value of the second-tier teams would be negligible.

The BCCI feels that you haven’t supported it enough on the Lodha issue…

What can the ICC do in this? When it comes to the law of the land, everyone, including the ICC, has to abide by its order. We can’t sit on the judgment of the highest court of the country. 

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