'This was one of the very important elections at a very crucial time which the BCCI is going through. I am sure all the members of the BCCI would give our best to restore the faith of people.'
Restoring people's faith and improving the game's image in the country is priority, declared Anurag Thakur, after being elected secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India at its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on Monday.
Thakur, considered close to the rival Sharad Pawar faction, defeated Sanjay Patel at the elections which saw veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya unanimously elected as president.
"Every member of the BCCI is committed towards the betterment of the game. I can assure everyone that we will take all necessary steps to strengthen the board, strengthen cricket and take cricket to new heights," said Thakur.
Asked whether it was Srinivasan's victory or Dalmiya's, Thakur replied: "I think it is the victory of cricket. Our utmost priority is to restore the confidence of the people in cricket and to work on the image of cricket and the Board.
"I personally feel the members of the Board will join to work in that direction, especially to reach the new heights in the field of cricket."
Asked if he contested in the elections because he wanted to clean the image of the Board, the 40-year-old administrator said: "I think the message is very loud and clear that all of us as the members of the BCCI are keen to work together and change the image or restore the faith of people in the game of cricket."
Thakur, the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, insisted that it was an important election at a very crucial time.
"It is not about individual's victory. This is a victory that I dedicate to all the members who have given me an opportunity to work. I am not a newcomer in the BCCI...I have been here for around 17 years. I have seen many ups and downs in the Board.
"I have seen many elections, which were very, very close. This was also one of the very important elections at a very crucial time which the BCCI is going through. I am sure all the members of the BCCI would give our best to restore the faith of people.”
Elaborating on the decisions taken at Monday’s AGM, he said: "Many committees have been decided, which are the statutory committees. And for the rest we are in the process of forming those committees.”
There are usually two ICC meetings, one attended by presidents of each board and chief executives. But the BCCI has still nominated Srinivasan and not Dalmiya.
When Thakur was asked about the move, he said: "This decision has been taken for the next six months till the next AGM takes place.
"There is an ongoing process...many committee members who are a part of various committees and still have 6-7 months to go for the next AGM, which is due in the month of September. So all of us agreed to continue with that process, so that the working of the Board is not affected by the change in the committee."
On why it took 20 months for the opposition to come together, he replied: "I think it is not about opposition.
"It is about the timing when the elections are due. So when the AGM was due and elections were held, I think the members have come forward and voted.”
Will Dalmiya will be able to act independently?
“Why not? He has been in the board for more than last 30 years, so I don't see any reason. He is being elected unanimously."
Image: Anurag Thakur