New Delhi: After taking over as the BCCI’s youngest president of modern India, Anurag Thakur talks to NewsX and said that BCCI has been moving towards the reform but there is a lot more to come.
NewsX: What are the immediate priorities and challenges for you?
Anurag: Many media people say there are challenging times ahead but I feel there are a lot of opportunities ahead. Cricket is the most popular game and we have dropped in the reforms in last 15 months. We have not waited for any recommendations, whatever reforms have been introduced, introduced by BCCI itself. Look at the appointments of chief executive officer or the chief financial officer; apart from that many initiatives have been taken in the last 15 months are applauded by every section of the society.
In the upcoming test matches, 10% tickets will be reserved free of cost for the girl child, students and the specially- able so they can also have live match experience. The fan experience would be further enhanced by creating facilities in the stadium. We are heading towards the green initiative where the new stadiums will be converted into green stadiums and the current infrastructure will be turned into green stadiums by doing the energy audit first to bring in better energy efficiency into the system.
Solar panels will be installed to produce electricity and led will used to cut down the consumption of power. Rain water harvesting plants will be place and savage treated water will be used for the grounds.
Apart from that we are looking at making team India no. 1 in the world in T-20, ODI and test format. We are looking for the best of the best coaches in the world and we have advertised for the post of cricket coach. They can apply till 10th June. Anyone who feels can coach for team India can apply for the post. He could be a foreign or Indian coach, whosoever is the best for team India.
NewsX: One of the reservations of Mr. Shashank Manohar has resigned amidst the reforms. He said in one of the interviews that 75% of the reforms are good for the BCCI and the Indian cricket team but there are certain examples like ‘One state one vote’ which is impractical. Do you also share the same reservation?
Anurag: I think if you go through the recommendations you yourself will that many of them are not practical. I think people understand that and court will also look into the details. We have raised the matter in the court. It is sub-judice and I won’t like to further comment on that. All I want to say is that the world looks at BCCI as one of the best cricket bodies in the world. Even if there is any possibility of bringing more reforms we are open to that but nothing should be forced upon BCCI which is not into the interest of cricket. Suppose if you cut down the advertisement, your revenue will go down and the state association, the BCCI, the current players and the upcoming players will be effected. So I think all this should be looked into totality and then a decision should be taken.
NewsX: Talking about the age gap and the tenure gap, Mr. Manohar has also had reservations on that and also keeping politicians away from the game. What is your take on that?
Anurag: Anyone from the society can be a member of parliament. Anyone who is fit enough to be elected as representative of the state cricket association can contest. Who are politicians? A farmer, a businessman, a professor of an entrepreneur or maybe a student. Why they should be kept away, a politician serves the country and they can even serve the game of cricket. I got into politics now but at first I was a cricketer. I played first class cricket and then I became a cricket administrator, then I joined politics. So why bar the politician? I think a politician do great job towards the nation. And if you look at the overall system every institution need some kind of reforms, accountability and transparency. Has every institution taken such steps? They are shying away we are not shying away.