New Delhi: Anurag Thakur on Thursday took charge as the country's 17th sports minister, succeeding Kiren Rijiju.
The 46-year-old former Cricket Board President was given responsibility of sports and youth affairs along with the Information and Broadcasting ministry after he took oath as a cabinet minister on Wednesday.
He comes into office at a time when the nation's athletes are in the final stage of their preparations for the Olympic Games from July 23.
"Whatever good work that has been done so far under Kiren Rijiju will continue. I would like to take everyone along and work for betterment of Indian sports," he told reporters after taking charge.
Thakur is the first cabinet minister since Mani Shankar Iyer (2006-2008) to get the sports ministry's responsibility.
Nisith Pramanik has been made minister of state for sports and will be working under Thakur.
Thakur was the president of the BCCI between May 2016 and February 2017.
Before that, he was the secretary of the Board and also headed the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).
A Member of Parliament from HP's Hamirpur constituency, Thakur was serving as the minister of state for finance and corporate affairs under Nirmala Sitharaman before Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle.
His brother Arun Dhumal is currently the treasurer of the BCCI.