Former Indian cricket supremo Shashank Manohar became the first elected chairman of the International Cricket Council on Thursday, unanimously chosen by his peers to lead the game's world governing body.
"It is an honour to be elected as the chairman of the International Cricket Council and for that I am thankful to all the ICC directors who have put their faith and trust in my abilities," Manohar said in a statement after the election at a meeting in Dubai. "I look forward to working with all stakeholders to shape the future of cricket, which has a proud history and rich tradition."
Manohar had been serving as head of the ICC in his role as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in line with the organisation's previous system of revolving chairmanships. But under reforms that he himself had championed, the ICC has amended its constitution to bring in direct elections for the position which will now be officially an independent post.
The 58-year-old Manohar had resigned as BCCI president on Tuesday in a move that freed him up to run for the ICC chairmanship, and his election had been widely predicted. In its statement, the ICC said Manohar had been the sole nominee for the position and was "unanimously elected" for a two-year term. Under the new reforms, the largely ceremonial position of ICC president has now been scrapped.
Manohar, who is a successful lawyer, had only taken over as BCCI president in October 2015 when he returned for a second stint in the position after the death of veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya. But he became frustrated after coming under pressure to introduce reforms to the BCCI's governance recommended by a panel convened by the Supreme Court, including age limits for the organisation's office-holders.
In an interview published by The Times of India on Wednesday, Manohar said his "conscience no longer permits me to continue" as BCCI president, and added that the recommended reforms were "not in the interests of the board". Manohar has been critical of recent ICC rule changes designed to give greater power to India, England and Australia, and has moved to reverse some of them.