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Singapore’s Imran Khwaja becomes interim ICC chairman

02 Jul 2020 16:37, Somoy English Desk
Singapore’s Imran Khwaja becomes interim ICC chairman
Singapore’s Imran Khwaja becomes interim ICC chairman

Shashank Manohar of India has formally stepped down as International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman after heading the sport’s global governing body for four years.

Singapore’s Imran Khwaja — previously Manohar’s deputy — has been elevated as interim chairman until the process for the next chairman’s election is finalised.

The decision was taken by the ICC Board on Wednesday after incumbent chairman Shashank Manohar stepped down from the post after completing his two terms.

Khwaja, who is a former president of the Singapore Cricket Association, was elected as ICC's deputy chairman in 2017, a year after Manohar became the global cricket body's inaugural independent chairman, said a ESPN.Cricinfo report

The deputy chairman's position was part of the new ICC constitution which came into effect from 2017. That constitution was drafted by a five-person working group which included Khwaja.

A lawyer by profession, Khwaja, 64, has been an ever-present but little-heard figure - publicly at least.

He remains, however, a powerful voice on the ICC Board and is part of a number of influential committees. 

Currently, the committees Khwaja sits on include the Finance & Commercial Affairs, Nominations, Development (chair) and Membership.

It was Khwaja who played a significant role in convincing Manohar to continue as ICC chairman in 2017 after the former BCCI president had opted to step down even before finishing a year in the post. Although he is the chairman of Associates, Khwaja has had a say in significant reforms the ICC carried out under Manohar's leadership, including the overhaul of the governance structure, the finance model and creating a democratic structure at the ICC board where even the smaller countries have had a say.

In the media release on Wednesday (June 1) the ICC said that the Board would finalise the nomination process to elect Manohar's full-time successor "within the next week".

Normally the new chair would have been installed at the ICC's annual conference, which this year is believed to have been postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although the annual general meeting will still take place virtually.

Khwaja, along with the outgoing ECB chairman Colin Grave, has been talked about as the frontrunner to replace Manohar on a full-time basis, although neither has made their desire to contest public.

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