Just a day after stepping down as BCCI president, Shashank Manohar has made startling claims of being "forced" to resign from the cash-rich cricket board.
"I could not work in the present scenario. I don't want to name anyone, but can say I have been forced to resign," Manohar was quoted as saying in the report.
Manohar's resignation from the BCCI comes under turbulent times, when the Lodha Committee report has asked tough questions of the all-powerful and richest cricket board in the world. BCCI has been reticent to follow up on Lodha panel's recommendations, which include one-state, one-vote, barring of politicians from the board, legalisation of betting, among other steps to ensure transparent functioning.
Manohar, however, refused to cite Lodha recommendations as a reason for his resignation.
"I don't want to say anything more except that I wanted to run the organisation (BCCI) on my terms and conditions. I didn't want my image be spoiled. I didn't wish to run the board with others' influence," he said.
The Nagpur-based lawyer had taken on the reins of the BCCI in October 2015 after Jagmohan Dalmiya, the incumbent board president at the time, had passed away.
Following Manohar's departure, another power struggle to get the BCCI top job looms over the board. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur is said to be the favourite to succeed Manohar.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla is also in the running along with Maharashtra CA president and business magnate Ajay Shirke.
As per BCCI rules, a Special General Meeting (SGM) has to be convened within 15 days, apprising the members of the current situation. It is the prerogative of secretary Thakur to call such a meeting.
As per norms, Manohar has also resigned from ICC chairman's post as he was a BCCI representative at the apex body and resignation in country's board effectively means that he does not stay as ICC's chairman. His tenure was supposed to end in June, 2016, after which he was set to take over as the first independent chairman of ICC.
The 58-year-old Manohar will not be a representative of any country's cricket board as per the changes recommended by ICC board and will need two independent members of the ICC Board to recommend his name.
According to BCCI sources, Manohar was waiting for the Supreme Court's final verdict but since it will only come out after the apex court opens post summer vacation, the Vidarbha lawyer possibly did not want to wait.
A top BCCI administrator told PTI: "We all had an idea that Shashank will be quitting BCCI post. But let's not get into a debate as to whether he has dumped a sinking ship or not. Whether it has been prudent on his part to quit when BCCI is going through tough times is a matter of conjecture."
Manohar is also said to be unpopular within the BCCI itself. Vedam Jaishankar wrote that the former BCCI president had not helped his cause when he waived the penalty clause of $41.97 million imposed on the West Indies Cricket Board for walking out of the tour of India in 2014.
In such circumstances, Manohar's claim gains even more weight and raises another question: Who are the people Manohar doesn't want to name?
With inputs from PTI