Anurag Thakur © CricketCountry
Anurag Thakur is a Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh © CricketCountry

Shillong: Board of Cricket for Control of India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur asserted on Wednesday that politicians have the ability to head various national sports bodies in the country. The 41-year-old three-time Lok Sabha member from Hamripur in Himachal Pradesh was responding to a journalist’s call for his comment on politicians heading various sports bodies in India. “If politicians can run the country, they can run the sport bodies also,” Thakur told reporters. “One should appreciate the hard work done by them. I was a cricketer first, then sports administrator later, then I became a politician. That does not disqualify me for becoming sports administrator. So they have contributed in creating infrastructure and that [politicians heading sports bodies] helps,” he added. READ: Thakur announces development of infrastructure in north-east

Thakur also pointed out that elections are held to state sports bodies and players also contest the polls and get elected. He added that big names like former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, among others, were part of the cricket associations in their respective states. “I have come from sports to politics but, sports not really is the gateway to politics. If it is the gateway also, there’s nothing in that because politics also is a platform to work for the country,” Thakur said. READ: Anurag Thakur inaugurates Mulapadu Cricket Centre

Thakur visited Dimapur in Nagaland as well as Meghalaya capital of Shillong. The BCCI president, who took charge 10 days back, was on a whirlwind tour of the New Area Development Project (NADP) states and began with a trip to Dimapur yesterday igniting hopes of transforming the standard of cricket in the region. “As BCCI President, I am making this announcement that within next couple of months we will start the indoor facility here,” Thakur said while addressing 25 players drawn from NADP states who are undergoing national training.