Shashank Manohar: High on integrity, tough on principles
Shashank Manohar, who took over as the 36th president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday, is known for his integrity. He regained control of the country's richest sporting body at a time when cricket's image was tarnished by the spot-fixing scandal and intense factionalism.
The reticent 58-year-old Nagpur-based lawyer in the past decade was known as someone who bears a tough, no- nonsense attitude and at the same time is accommodating towards the needs of the players.
A shrewd tactician and one who knows implications of any policy decision like the back of his hand, Manohar is a trouble-shooter since 2005, when he became vice- president and 'Man-Friday' to Sharad Pawar, who became the president that year.
Once he was through in 2011 with his first presidential tenure, Manohar stepped away from the limelight, rarely voicing his opinion on cricketing matters until the spot-fixing scandal broke in 2013.
Since then, Manohar and Narayanaswami Srinivasan became adversaries, the former sticking to principles that need to be followed and urging the Tamil Nadu strongman to relinquish his post.
Srinivasan, on his part, kept claiming that it was a case of pure vendetta.
That he stuck to his principals was proved when he made it clear that he is not in favour of Pawar aligning with Srinivasan in the presidential battle following the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya.
In a cricket Board riddled by scandals, factionalism, money-power and heavy politicking, the need of the hour was a man whose image could restore the faith and credibility of the sporting body whose revenues run into millions of dollars.
While mulling on a replacement for Dalmiya, a majority of the influential decision-makers in the BCCI, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, could come up with only one name that could be befitting to the stature of a body like the BCCI. That was Manohar.
Some of his ground-breaking decisions during his first tenure (2008-11) include suspension of erstwhile the Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi on allegations of financial irregularities, calling for fresh bids for new teams after allegations of rigging, and advising the BCCI to encash the bank guarantee of Kochi Tuskers Kerala after it defaulted on franchisee fee.