BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is out of contention to become the next ICC chairman, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani has emerged a potential challenger to Colin Graves, Cricket Age reliably learns.
There were reports in the past that suggested that the former India skipper was leading the race for the post of ICC chairman after it was revealed that Shashank Manohar would not stand for another term after his tenure ends with the ICC annual conference in July.
Sourav Ganguly was elected as the BCCI President last October but his tenure technically concludes in July after which he would need to undergo a three-year cooling-off period. Subsequently, it was reported that Sourav Ganguly might replace Manohar as the next ICC chairman.
“It is believed that the current regime led by outgoing chairman Shashank Manohar thinks Mani’s election will keep intact the current financial model which has benefited the smaller boards. This is not guaranteed if Ganguly or Graves is elected” an insider at the ICC told Cricket Age .
Ehsan Mani accepted the role to become PCB chairman after being convinced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He took the responsibility as he wanted to serve Pakistan cricket. However, he will have to leave PCB prematurely if he agrees to contest the election and is successful in the bid to become ICC Chairman. Outgoing England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Graves was earlier seen as the favourite to succeed Manohar, with Singapore representative Imran Khwaja expected to give him competition.
“Pressure is mounting on Ehsan Mani to accept the coveted role of ICC chairman from several of the top Test-playing nations. On the other hand, Sourav Ganguly is out of the race as several Test-playing nations are cautious of too much Indian influence in world cricket” the ICC insider added.
Mani is a former ICC president, who was PCB’s representative in ICC from 1989 to 1996. He was also part of various committees. Sources close to Mani didn’t rule out the possibility and one understands that he has the backing of current members.
“It’s important to continue the work done by Manohar, which has brought stability in member boards. If we disrupt it, it will be a setback for many. There is time for filing nominations and it will be a long process. We’ll know in the coming days,” sources said.
Mani’s candidature will be seen as a blow for BCCI, which aspires to take control of the ICC post Covid. While it plans to get support by committing to tours, ICC members are wary that BCCI might change the revenue sharing model.