The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have scheduled a Special General Meeting (SGM) on October 4 to be held at Mumbai to elect the new board president, ESPNCricinfo reports. Former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar is the front-runner for the post which has been left vacant following the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya on September 20.
Speculation has been rife over the candidates in the running for what is one of the most powerful posts in sports administration. Initial reports suggested that senior board official and present IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla was the front-runner for the post, albeit on an interim basis.
The East Zone, primarily comprising of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tripura, Assam, Odisha and the National Cricket Club, whose turn it is to name the next president, had initially opted to field Amitabh Chaudhary of the Jharkhand Cricket Association (JCA) as a candidate but are yet to make the move official.
The name of former BCCI and ICC chief Sharad Pawar also emerged as a serious candidate, following his meeting with ousted chief N Srinivasan. However the duo of Arun Jaitley and BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur, who has considerable power within the board are completely against any candidate who has the backing of Srinivasan & even some of Pawar's allies in the West Zone are against forging any alliance with the tainted businessman.
That has the left the path clear for Shashank Manohar who is seen to be agreeable to both the factions and has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party as well, the party in power at the centre, while also possessing considerable influence in the board’s affairs. Manohar is a Nagpur-based lawyer and a clean image in his administrative career so far has made him an acceptable candidate for all parties concerned.
Earlier in the day, Thakur offered his public backing to Manohar stating that he was the only candidate in the running for the post.
"Shashank Manohar is the only candidate for the BCCI president's post. A decision regarding it will be taken in BCCI's SGM in Mumbai on October 4," Thakur said, as reported by NDTV Sports.
Newly elected Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly is also understood to have offered his backing to Manohar, who represents the Vidarbha Cricket Association.
The BCCI are however wary of a possible interference from the Srinivasan camp whom could come up with their own candidate as nominations for the president’s post can be filed upto October 3. There are also fears that he might pursue the legal route to jeopardise Manohar’s candidature as he had publically stated his displeasure after an alleged link between former IPL chief Lalit Modi and Manohar was reported by The Indian Express.Published 29 Sep 2015, 11:54 IST