Irfan backs embattled Anurag Thakur, says `unfortunate` to see BCCI reeling under controversies

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], Oct.05 : Throwing his weight behind the beleaguered Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its chief Anurag Thakur, paceman Irfan Pathan has said it was unfortunate to see the country's cricketing body embroiling in controversies despite making significant contributions to the Indian cricket.

"The BCCI has done many good things and it is unfortunate the way the organisation and its chief Anurag Thakur are being projected now.

It should also be noted that BCCI takes care of everyone involved in the sport ranging from under-14 players to former cricketers.

The initiatives taken by BCCI need to be appreciated," Irfan told ANI in an exclusive interview. Last week, the Justice RM Lodha-led committee had submitted its status report with the Supreme Court, accusing the BCCI of defying the apex court's orders and stalling its proposed reforms.

In its report, the apex court-appointed panel had stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country's cricket governing body.

However, the 31-year-old left-hander, who played a crucial role in India's victorious 2007 World T20 campaign, believes that the BCCI has taken the Indian cricket on a progressive path.

"The board has taken India in a rightful path. We are currently the top-ranked Test side, won the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup. All these milestones couldn't have been possible without the support of the BCCI," the bowler added. The move came after the BCCI appointed a five-member selection committee during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 21, which was in violation to the Lodha panel's guidelines.

Tearing into the BCCI for ignoring the directions of the Lodha panel, the apex court had given the cricket governing body time till October 6 to respond to the panel's report.

In its October 1 Special General Meeting, the BCCI had accepted many of the "significant recommendations" of the Lodha Committee, however, excluding the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.

The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.

On the BCCI's decision to double the India players' Test-match fees to Rs 15 lakh, the southpaw all-rounder has heaped praise on the board for this move and insisted that this will help increase the interest of the players as well as the crowd in the longer format of the game.

Echoing similar views, wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patil asserted that this decision by the BCCI will encourage players, especially aspiring cricketers to devote more time in the dwindling Test format.

"I think it is a very good step. It's a huge amount and I am sure, players will get more encouraged to play Test cricket and not just IPL.

It's not only about money, playing for the country is itself a great reward but still, this will encourage youngsters to focus and look forward to Test cricket," Parthiv said.

"I think this step of the BCCI will surely help in giving Test cricket its highest stature, which it surely deserves.".

Source: ANI