Mumbai: Newly-elected BCCI president Shashank Manohar on Sunday said that the new dispensation would not have a "vindictive attitude" towards anyone including former chief N Srinivasan, whom he termed as "one of the best secretaries" of the board.
"We are not working here with a vindictive attitude. The entire Board --- all 30 members including the Tamil Nadu CA (headed by Srinivasan) was united that all of us have to work together to build the image of this Board. For that, we can't fight amongst ourselves and have any vindictive attitude when we decide on matters," said Manohar, without elaborating anything about Srtinivasan's future as chairman of ICC.
"I can tell you Srinivasan was an excellent secretary, he was better than most of the secretaries I have come across in the Board. He was one of the best secretaries to have as I found out during my (2008-09 to 2010-11) tenure. I don't know what happened after I completed my term in 2011. I was not in touch. Srinivasan was by far the best secretary after Mr Dalmiya," Manohar said.
However, he left it to the general body of the Board to decide whether to continue to nominate Srinivasan's name as the chairman of the International Cricket Council.
"The General Body has to decide at the AGM," he answered.
Asked about one office-bearer, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary having filed an affidavit against secretary Anurag Thakur in the perjury case filed by Srivasan against the latter, Manohar - whtout elaborating - said that it had been sorted out between the concerned persons.
"The issue was discussed after the meeting (SGM) got over and the issue has been sorted out. It was informally discussed and sorted out. I never said it happened in the meeting."
He reiterated during the media interaction that followed his opening address at the media conference that his first priority was to clean up the image of the game.
"My first priorty is to clean the image of the sport. As far as young faces (in administration) it's always better as the new generation have new ideas while the older geneneration has fixed notions and they work accordingly. Development can take place only when new generation comes in. I would encourage good administrators irrespective of whether he is a player or not."
While stressing that the BCCI would be more transperent than before, Manohar emphatically ruled out it will have to come under the Right To Information Act.
"Under Article 12 of the (Indian) Constitution, we are not a state, (but) our functions are akin to a state. That's why the Supreme Court has held that we are performing a public deed. We are a private body though performing a public deed and therefore each and every activity of the Board need not be disclosed to the whole world. As I said transparency means transparency in functioning of the Board."
"But we will not come under the RTI because law cannot apply to one institution. RTI is an Act. Under the Act to whom it applies is defined by two contingences. As the law exists, it applies only to state govertments, institutions which are controlled by centre or state governments or who has been substantially aided by the govt. We do not fall in either of these categories and RTI cannot be made applicable to us.
"There could be fans of filmstars who would want to know everything about filmstars. Does it mean RTI applies to filmstars becase we are fans, we spend money to watch movies? But if government amends the law, we have no difficulty (in accepting it). But we cannot be singled out and said it should be applied to the Board."
Asked about reports in the media that he was in touch through e-mail exchanges with debarred former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, Manohar said he was not even conversant about how to start a computer.
"As far as Lalit Modi is concerned, I may have relations with hundreds of people, but that's not going to affect my functioning in this Board. Tomorrow, if I am informally meeting someone -- here I am taking the worst case scenario and I am not admitting anything - or if I have dinner with someone, how is it going to affect the Board's functioning.
"If that is affecting my functioning in the Board then you have every right to criticise me. And I can assure you the day it affects my functiong in the Board, I will step down.
"If I send a mail to the Queen of England, does that mean I am on friendly terms with the Queen? Or If I send a mail to US president" He does not even know me. I will tell you one more fact, I can't even start a computer let alone read a mail (on it)."
Manohar also advocated that the National Cricket Academy should once again start being the Centre of Excellence rather than being a rehabilitation centre.
"We would want NCA to function throughout the year. There are no good spinners available in the country. We want NCA to be a centre which can produce replacement for the available lot when required."
While the BCCI finance committee had already passed a resolution of having women cricketers under central contracts system, Manohar reiterated the BCCI's position on the issue.
"The BCCI will have central contracts for women cricketers. This will encourage more and more women to take up the sport in future."
The President said that all the past records of BCCI will be available at its headquarters and any member of the state units can read the reports.
Manohar also said that BCCI's focus will be on having a smoothly-conducted ICC World Twenty20 Championships in India in the "best possible manner".
He also said that he won't like to cast his President's vote in case of elections till the constitution is amended. A BCCI President in case of election can have three votes -- his state association's vote, president's vote and casting vote -- all three that Dalmiya used to help Ranbir Singh Mahendra beat Sharad Pawar during the 2004 elections.
"I am okay with the casting vote but I am not in favour of exercising the chairman (President's)'s vote till the constitution is amended."