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In a stunning turn of events, Shashank Manohar today resigned as International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman citing personal reasons, abruptly ending his two-year tenure in a mere eight months.
The 59-year-old Manohar mailed his resignation letter to ICC CEO Dave Richardson without clarifying the exact reason for this sudden move.
However, according to highly-placed sources, Manohar decided to quit after BCCI gained enough ground to block the constitutional and financial reforms that were set to be passed by the ICC at its next board meeting.
Any reform to be passed needs 2/3rd majority but BCCI, in all likelihood, has managed to get Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe on its side.
It is learnt, expecting a loss of face, Manohar resigned with immediate effect.
"I was elected unopposed as the first independent Chairman of ICC last year. I have tried to do my best and have tried to be fair and impartial in deciding matters in the functioning of the Board and in matters related to Member Boards along with the able support of all Directors," Manohar has stated in his resignation letter.
"However, for personal reasons it is not possible for me to hold the august office of ICC Chairman and hence I am tendering my resignation as Chairman with immediate effect.
"I take this opportunity to thank all the Directors, the Management and staff of ICC for supporting me wholeheartedly. I wish ICC all the very best and hope it achieves greater heights," he concluded.
Manohar had last year resigned from the BCCI President's position citing his inability to carry out the Lodha Committee reforms in toto. His detractors in BCCI, at that time, had said that he left a sinking ship for the safer confines of the ICC.
He became the first independent chairman of ICC but had several run ins with BCCI on revenue sharing pattern.
The BCCI officials believe that for his personal ambitions to head the ICC, Manohar had not cared about the BCCI's interests.
(REOPENS FGN 33)
Manohar's decision to bring in constitutional reforms has been severely opposed by BCCI along with Sri Lanka.
The ICC is expected to pick Manohar's replacement next month at its Executive Board meetings. As per norms, it has to be an individual who does not hold office in his home Board.
All present and past ICC directors would be eligible to contest the election if it happens. Candidates would be nominated by ICC directors and only one nominee would be allowed per director.
Nominees having the backing of at least two Full Member directors would be eligible to stand for election.
The ICC said it has received Manohar's resignation and will comment only after taking stock of the situation.
"The ICC has confirmed it has received an email from Chairman Shashank Manohar tendering his resignation. The ICC Board will assess the situation and next steps before making a further announcement," the world body stated in a brief press release.
Manohar was elected unopposed as ICC's first independent Chairman after he quit the BCCI President's position in May last year.
Since taking over, he had vehemently opposed the concentration of executive power with the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
In February this year, the ICC passed a new constitution which ended the 'Big Three's' hold over decision-making and finances. But a final decision on this was to be taken at ICC Board's meetings next month.