Thakur removed as BCCI chief
Judges ordered the dismissal Monday of the Indian cricket board's president over the failure to enact a series of recommended reforms, plunging the game's most powerful body into turmoil.
In a shock ruling, a panel of Supreme Court judges said Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur and its number two Ajay Shirke must stand down immediately.
"The Supreme Court passes an order directing the BCCI president and secretary to desist from any board functions from here on," said the ruling.
The order comes after judges slapped restrictions on the BCCI's accounts last year over its failure to implement a series of reforms recommended by a panel headed by a former top judge, Rajendra Mal Lodha.
Cricket's massive popularity in India has helped the BCCI become by far the wealthiest of all of the sport's national boards. But it has also been embroiled in a series of scandals, including accusations of corruption and match-fixing that tarnished the Indian Premier League.
A corruption and match-fixing scandal in the sixth edition of the IPL brought about the downfall of the board's then-president Narayanaswami Srinivasan after his son-in-law was accused of betting on matches.
The elevation of Thakur, who only took over as head of the BCCI in May 2016, and Shirke had been seen as representing a break with the past.
But the board's reluctance to implement Lodha's recommendations, which included age limits and term limits on office-bearers, had triggered a number of legal battles.
The recent series against England was nearly cancelled on the eve of the first Test as a result of the funding restrictions.
"I respect the Supreme Court as any citizen should. Supreme Court judges feel that BCCI could do better under retired judges, I wish them all the best. I am sure Indian cricket will do well under their guidance," Thakur, the lawmaker for India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said in a video message posted on social media.
Lodha said Thakur's removal was an inevitable consequence of the board's foot-dragging.
The judges also ordered Thakur to explain why he allegedly lied on oath about seeking a letter from the International Cricket Council stating that Lodha's recommendations amounted to government interference. They threatened to charge him with perjury and contempt of court.
Thakur has until January 19 to reply to the contempt notice.