Anurag Thakur Anurag Thakur vowed to carry on the reforms process in the BCCI © IANS
Anurag Thakur vowed to carry on the reforms process in the BCCI © IANS

Mumbai: Newly-elected President Anurag Thakur today vowed to carry on the reforms process in the BCCI, insisting that the Board would not run away from implementing the “practical” recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee. Addressing the media after taking over unopposed as the BCCI President, Thakur faced a barrage of queries on the recommendations which have been resisted by the Board so far. The 41-year-old, who is the second youngest BCCI President, said he is prepared to confront the situation head on. “Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity, it all depends on one’s perspective. I see an opportunity that this is the time to deliver,” asserted Thakur when asked whether he is prepared for the turbulent times ahead given the sweeping reforms recommended by the apex court’s panel. Full Cricket Scorecard: Kolkata Knight Riders  vs  Sunrisers Hyderabad , Live Score, 55th T20 Match, IPL 2016

“We are not running away from Lodha committee recommendations but we are in favour of using recommendations which are practical. We have already done reforms much before Lodha Committee recommendations. We understand our responsibility towards the most popular sport in the country,” he said. Yesterday, his predecessor and ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar had stated that the Indian Board had already implemented 75 per cent of the Lodha panel’s recommendations for sweeping reforms but had reservations on a few which, he felt, were not good for the game. READ: Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh tweet congratulatory messages to new BCCI President Anurag Thakur

Thakur echoed the sentiment and insisted that the BCCI has always run as a professional body even though no institution can claim to be perfectly run. “I am grateful to Mr Manohar for expressing his views. He is a seasoned administrator. He has also expressed that how 100 per cent implementation of recommendations won’t be feasible. The world knows how effectively run our Board is. We have tried to mend our ways. There are always areas to improve,” he said. READ: Analysing Anurag Thakur’s future course as BCCI President

Besides the issue of reforms, the BCCI was also pushed on the backfoot when a slew of PILs led to shifting of matches out of drought-hit Maharashtra. Thakur announced a series of measures including allocation of Rs 100 Cr for rain-water harvesting in stadiums. The reforms set to be undertaken by the board in sync with SC-appointed committee. “Keeping in mind the environmental conditions, BCCI plans to undertake a ‘Green Initiative’. We plan to have Solar Panels for rain-water harvesting and treatment of sewage water in the newly built stadiums. We have set the deadline for one year and Rs 100 crore has been allocated for this purpose,” Thakur told reporters. READ: Anurag Thakur becomes one of the youngest BCCI Presidents

The idea was discussed after BCCI were forced to move 12 IPL matches from drought-hit Maharashtra when NGOs filed PILs on lakhs of litres of water being wasted for maintenance of the grounds in general. Thakur also announced that an amount of Rs 5 crore corpus has been created for the next year to help the visually challenged as well deaf and dumb cricketers. This is in line with one of the Lodha Panel recommendations of BCCI’s duty towards integrating the physically challenged cricketers into their system. READ: Sunil Gavaskar, Nikhil Chopra, Boria Majumdar praise Anurag Thakur’s selection as new BCCI President

Thakur said: “A minimum of 10 percent seats will be allocated for specially-abled persons, school students and girls. We have told the state associations to have proper numbering of their seats to make it more spectator friendly. There will be seats earmarked for the physically challenged persons also.” After the appointment of Rahul Johri as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thakur today announced the former TataSons Vice-president Santosh Rangnekar as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). READ: Anurag Thakur becomes youngest BCCI President

The new Board chief also said that state associations have been told to be more active on social networking sites like Facebook, twitter and also have websites with updated information to engage with the fans. The Central Contract System for women cricketers was another step in right direction, felt Thakur and he has sought a comprehensive report on the implementation part within a month. Thakur also spoke about having a “Coaching App”. VIDEO: Anurag Thakur files nomination papers for BCCI Presidential election

“There are thousands of cricket academies across length and breadth of India which do not have access to state of the art coaching facilities. We are speaking to our Information Technology team if we can develop a ‘Coaching App’. Now 70 percent are smart phone users and they can download the App,” said Thakur.