The second youngest BCCI president in independent India, Anurag Thakur has taken over the reins of the world’s richest cricketing body at a time it is fighting an existential battle against a complete restructuring recommended by the Supreme Court.
It will certainly not be a ‘Bed of Roses’ for the three-time Lok Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur district as he is expected to be in office till September, 2017 and turbulent times lie ahead for him in foreseeable future.
In case the Lodha Committee recommendations are implemented, Thakur will have to wait for three-years as a mandatory cooling off period.
This makes it a really intriguing coming few months with Thakur in the Hot Seat as he will have to engineer a rapid transformation in BCCI’s working process post Supreme Court verdict.
But Thakur, son of two-time former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, is a career-politician and will bring in his distinct operational style not exactly similar to his immediate predecessors N Srinivasan and Shashank Manohar.
Not to forget he is a combative character, who loves a good scrap and was one of the rarest BCCI officials (apart from then treasurer Ajay Shirke), who had gone on record, asking the erstwhile president N Srinivasan to step down from his post after the match-fixing scandal broke out.
The supremo of Himachal Pradesh CA is someone who believes in keeping cards close to his chest and taking his own time before arriving at a decision.
A case in point may be the wait for India’s next chief coach after Ravi Shastri’s contract expired at the end of the World T20. Thakur has not yet divulged who will be Shastri’s successor.
But he has his own set of accomplishments too. A stadium at Dharamsala on the lap of the scenic Dhauladhar Range is inarguably the most beautiful venue in India.
Apart from Dharamsala, Himachal also boasts of modern cricket infrastructure at Bilaspur, Una, Amtar, Pragati Nagar and Laal Pani. Bilaspur and Una has also hosted senior level BCCI matches.
Being one of the younger officials in the BCCI top brass, he shares a good rapport with the national team’s past and present cricketers. In fact, many feel that he is a players’ man as he ensured as a secretary that door is not shut on any senior players who are performing.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, all made comebacks into national fold after he took over as the secretary and became the convener of the senior selection committee.