Video: Shashank Manohar’s Q&A: BCCI chief plays it straight in the Facebook chat with fans

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Shashank Manohar, who took over the post after the demise of former chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, had a huge task ahead of him. Board’s credibility was at an all time low after the spot-fixing scandal broke out, and the onus was on Manohar to bring in more transparency and restore the lost faith. He has so far done a decent job, and has managed to stay away from any controversy.

On Wednesday, he took questions live from cricket fans on a wide range —as wide as to why Katappa killed Bahubali (he was actually asked this question). Manohar maintained a diplomatic stand; played most of the questions straight while ducking a few difficult ones. He received more than 5,000 questions and chose to answer a few selected ones. Here are the excerpts from his Facebook Q&A session:

On Nagpur pitch:

On International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) move to term the Nagpur pitch as “poor”, Manohar said that the BCCI will abide by the decision taken by the supreme body, but at the same time urged that match referee’s inference was subjective. “In Nagpur, the match referee held there was excessive spin and uneven bounce on the third day. Now, that decision is subjective. Having said that, the ICC, which is the supreme body, has taken the decision and we abide by it,” he said.

On where Indian team lacks

A fan asked him that where does the Indian team lack in his opinion. Manohar’s quick reply to the question was fast-bowling, spin bowling and physical fitness. He said that to fix this problem, TA Sekhar has been appointed as the fast-bowling coach while Narendra Hirwani will be the spin-bowling coach to nurture the second string of Indian cricket.

On DRS

Like all his predecessors, Manohar echoed BCCI’s stance on DRS, saying BCCI was never against it and that the only contentious issue with the system was the LBW decision.

On nature of tracks

The BCCI chief also defended the square turners that were on offer at the recently concluded four Test-match series between India and South Africa, saying it was not possible to prepare fast, bouncy wickets, similar to the ones in Australia and South Africa because of the idifference in the nature of soil and atmospheric conditions. He however assured of more India A and U-19 tours, which he believes will help the players acclimatized at a much younger age.

On possibility of India-Pakistan bilateral series

He termed the resumption of the Indo-Pak cricket series a “complex issue”, one which is not solely dependent on the two boards alone. He left it to the two governments to decide on the status of a full-fledged tour between the two nations.

The live interactive session lasted about 20 minutes, in which the BCCI chief answered more than 20 questions. He also shared insights on who his favourite player is and when he first saw a live game.