Imran Khwaja named interim ICC chairman after Manohar steps down

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Shashank Manohar, ICC Chairman speaks during the ICC Full Council Meeting at the ICC Annual Conference at Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel on July 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Shashank Manohar, former International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman. (Photo by Steve Bardens-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Imran Khwaja was named interim chairman of the International Cricket Council after Shashank Manohar stepped down from the role after two terms.

Khwaja, 64, is a former president of the Singapore Cricket Association. He was elected to the position of deputy chairman in 2017.

Under Manohar’s leadership, Khwaja was involved in the implementation of a number of key reforms and a stronger democratic structure within the ICC.

A statement from the ICC said that the process for the Chairperson election is expected to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.

“Everyone on the ICC Board extends their wholehearted thanks to Shashank for the commitment he has shown to our sport. There is no doubt that cricket owes Shashank a debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport. He has left cricket and the ICC in a better place than he found it,” Khwaja said.

Manohar will support the ICC board to ensure a smooth transition.

Manohar was first elected as an independent chairman in May 2016. He resigned for personal reasons in March 2017 but then deferred his resignation and was re-elected unopposed for a second two-year term two years later.

It was thought that due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, Manohar would get a small extension amid fears that the ICC board meeting would not happen.

Several media reports have claimed that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves is favourite to fill the post. His tenure at the ECB is set to end on August 3.

However, a spanner in the works was thrown when Cricket South Africa’s director Graeme Smith recently endorsed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly for the post.

Smith said that it was time for someone who was closer to the modern game with the leadership credentials to get into a key position and he felt Ganguly, a former India captain, was best positioned to do that at the moment.

Manohar’s successor is expected to formally take over when the ICC’s annual general meeting is held at the end of July.