Thakur ran an export house from 1993 to 2008 and dabbled in cricket. He was a right hand batsman and right arm off break bowler, an all-rounder. He played one Ranji Trophy match for Himachal against Jammu and Kashmir in the 2000-01 season, batted for seven balls and scored a duck in the first innings, bowled five overs to take two wickets. He did not bat in the second innings as his team declared early. His team lost the game.
Thakur did not play another Ranji match but flowered as a cricket administrator. He was the moving force behind transforming the Dharamsala cricket stadium, currently one of the most picturesque cricket stadium in the country, to international standards. After heading the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, Thakur became a BCCI office bearer in 2011.
Thakur was a rare BCCI official to speak up against the establishment after the IPL corruption scandal in 2013. He was elected the BCCI president in May 2016, the second youngest-ever to head the board. The stint was marked by the battle between the BCCI and the Lodha Committee. He was removed from office by a Supreme Court order on January 2, 2017.
In Parliament, Thakur has defended the government ably, including on Budget. Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Arun Jaitley has had a key influence on Thakur over the years.
Thakur’s understanding of business, agriculture, administration and all-rounder skills could come in handy at North Block.