Anurag Thakur, son of former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal, is a BJP MP. He won his first Lok Sabha election in May 2008, and won again in 2014. In May 2016, he was elected the BCCI president after the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Thakur’s became secretary of BCCI in 2011. By then he had already spent many years as the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. It was during his tenure that the picturesque Dharamshala stadium was built. He was also a junior national selector and has represented his State in Ranji Trophy once, that too as captain – in a game against J&K.
Anurag Thakur’s rise in the BCCI was undisputable as he rose to the ranks of joint secretary and to secretary in 2011. When N. Srinivasan was ousted as president of the BCCI, Jagmohan Dalmiya was made the BCCI chief. With Jagmohan Dalmiya’s death, Anurag Thakur was elected unopposed as the BCCI president.
Here’s a look at his nine-month tenure as BCCI chief:
January 2016: With a strong recommendation to lawmakers to legalise betting in cricket for all except cricket players, officials and administrators, the Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee report says that government servants and ministers should be banned from holding posts in the BCCI. The committee commended the “good work” done by the BCCI, including pension scheme for national players. Justice Lodha along with Justices Ashok Bhan and R.V. Raveendran said their objective handed down by the apex court was not to limit the autonomy of the BCCI.
After the Lodha panel recommendations made public, the former MCA chief Sharad Pawar expresses his happiness but asks for more clarity on reforms.
February 2016: The BCCI special general body meeting (SGM) authorises Shashank Manohar and Anurag Thakur to file an affidavit in response to the recommendations by Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha’s panel about the administrative overhaul of Indian cricket.
March 2016: BCCI has blames the Supreme Court-appointed committee led by former CJI R.M. Lodha, in an affidavit filed, for keeping it in the dark. The affidavit was filed by the then secretary Anurag Thakur.
April 2016: The apex court says cricket bosses has transformed the Board into a “mutual benefit society” which disburses huge amounts to choice members without even bothering to ask how they spend it. (Read more)
July 18, 2016: Supreme Court accepts the major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms to the BCCI, including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members. It, however, left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under the RTI and betting on the game should be legalised. (Read more)
September 2016: During the long legal battle, a Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, prima facie concludes that BCCI’s top administrators, including its president Mr. Thakur, were an impediment to the Lodha Committee’s efforts to reform Indian cricket.
Read the Lodha panel reforms in cricket
October 2016: The BCCI expresses concern at the “dent” to its reputationfollowing the freezing of its accounts. “The BCCI has achieved the top positions in all three formats in the game. We have the world’s fastest growing league in IPL. We also host the world’s largest domestic tournament (Ranji Trophy). We have created our own infrastructure, without government help, throughout the country and contribute hundreds of crore to the State exchequer. Despite this, why is the BCCI’s functioning being objected to?,” asked Anurag Thakur.
Warning there will be no domestic cricket matches if the BCCI and its members do not fall in line with the Lodha committee reforms, the Supreme Court threatens to pass an order within 24 hours to stop all BCCI payments to State cricket associations for hosting domestic matches, including the Ranji Trophy.
October 2016: The Supreme Court ups the ante against BCCI to implement the Lodha panel recommendations in full but the board said no. (Read more)
December 2016: Thakur says to Supreme Court that the Lodha panel recommendations seem to be aimed at weakening the organisation. In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, Mr. Thakur said “the removal of democratically-elected office bearers of the BCCI or State cricket associations will not result in any benefit to the game and shall instead paralyse the administration.” Their removal would directly impact the BCCI among organisations like the International Cricket Council. Lodha panel’s recommendations seemed to aim at making BCCI a “weak organisation,” he alleged. (Read more)
December 15, 2016: The Supreme Court says it found BCCI president Anurag Thakur prima facie guilty of contempt of court and liable to face criminal prosecution for perjury. A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur threatened that once the Supreme Court passes an order to initiate prosecution, no other court would dare to come in between, and the BCCI president would have “no way out, but go to jail.”
January 2, 2017: The Supreme Court orders BCCI president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke to forthwith cease and demit office. The apex court also issued a contempt notice to Mr. Thakur. The court had found him prima facie guilty of contempt and perjury for approaching ICC chairman Shashank Manohar for a letter undermining the judgment of July 18, 2016 upholding the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee recommendation to have a CAG nominee on the Board’s apex council. The order, authored by Justice Chandrachud, fully supported the Justice Lodha panel recommendation to oust BCCI office-bearers and administrators of affiliated State associations who are above 70 years old.