New Delhi: Sacked secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Ajay Shirke on Monday said he is "absolutely fine" with the Supreme Court order asking him to leave office but hoped that the board does not lose its international standing owing to the administrative upheaval here.
"I have no reaction to that (to his sacking). If that is the Supreme Court order, I cease to be secretary. It cannot get any simpler than that. My role in BCCI is over," said Shirke shortly after Supreme Court removed him and president Anurag Thakur as the office-bearers of the BCCI.
The two faced the wrath of the Supreme Court after BCCI failed to implement the Lodha panel reforms under their leadership.
When asked whether the situation could have been avoided had the board implemented the sweeping reforms earlier, Shirke said there was no question of handling the issue differently.
"At the end of the day, the BCCI comprises of members. It is not about me or the president. It is about the members.
"I have no reason to go into history. History can be judged by people differently. I have no personal attachment to the post. In the past also I have resigned and I have lots of other things to do. I came back to the board as there was a vacancy and I was elected unopposed. Now it has come to this (the Supreme Court). I am completely fine with it and I have no regrets," said Shirke from the UK.
The apex court had also decided to initiate contempt proceedings against Thakur by seeking his response as to why he should not be held liable for obstructing the implementation of the court's directions aimed at reforming the BCCI.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T. S. Thakur said the working of BCCI will be looked after by a committee of administrators and requested senior advocate Fali S Nariman and senior advocate Gopal Subramanian, who was assisting in the matter as amicus curiae, to assist the court in nominating persons of impeccable integrity for the panel.
Shrike hoped the board does not lose its powerful position on the global stage.
"I hope the new dispensation continues the good work done by the BCCI. Hope the board doesn't lose more face globally. I also hope the Indian team is able to maintain its supremacy in all three formats of the game," Shirke added.
Justice R. M. Lodha, who headed the three-member panel formed by Supreme Court to make structural reforms in the BCCI, said it was only a matter of time for the reforms to be implemented.
"This is logical consequence because once the reforms were accepted by the Supremer Court, they had to be implemented. There were obstructions and obviously this had to happen and it has happened," said Lodha.
"One should understand that once the order of the Supreme Court has come, it has to be obeyed. It is law of the land. It is victory for cricket. The game will flourish. Administrators come and go but the game goes on," Lodha added.
The Supreme Court bench, also comprising Justices A. M. Khanwilkar and D. Y. Chandrachud, said that Nariman and
Subramanian will complete the task in two weeks and the matter for passing the direction for nominating the persons in
committee of administrators will be taken up on January 19.
Good for cricket: Bedi
Meanwhile, the cricketing fraternity led by former India spinner Bishan Bedi hailed the apex court's verdict.
"This is a landmark judgement. It is good for Indian cricket and it will be back on track. There is light now and we are thankful to the Supreme Court. I don't have to get into debate. This is full and final.
"This is going to be great news for Indian sports and cricket in particular. If you are watching IOA, it is in shambles. That will be clarified too," said Bedi.
Saddest day: Pawar
The Lodha committee recommendation on one state one vote was also opposed by the BCCI, especially its affiliate Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The 76-year-old Sharad Pawar, who resigned as MCA president last month to adhere to age cap of 70 years recommended by the Lodha, was left disappointed after the Supreme Court order on Monday.
Implementing one-state one-vote would mean Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha will have to right to vote on rotational basis.
"It is the saddest day for Mumbai cricket. Mumbai cricket has produced so many international stars and done so much for Indian cricket (including record 41 time Ranji champions). The decision to keep Mumbai away from voting is painful," said Pawar.
Veteran administrator Niranjan Shah, who is secretary of Saurashtra Cricket Association, said there was no option other than implementing the Lodha reforms.
"Whatever Supreme Court says is final. We will have to abide by that," said Shah.
Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Secretary Kasi Viswanathan too concurred with his Saurashtra counterpart, saying the body will adopt Lodha recommendations.
"We will have to go by what the Supreme Court has ordered. Anything else will be contempt of court. It has to be followed. We will soon call for a Special General Meeting to chart the road ahead," Viswanathan said.
Brijesh Patel, secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), said they were awaiting a copy of the Supreme Court order.
"I can't say anything until I read the order. Only after going through the order we can discuss the road ahead," Patel said when asked whether KSCA would implement the Lodha reforms.