Kolkata, 21 September: THE 36 year long journey of the cricket boss who will be remembered for his innovative ideas and turnaround of Indian cricket came to a close on Monday. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) died like a king at the helm of affairs.
His journey with cricket began in early 60’s when he represented the Scottish Church College in Kolkata in a friendly cricket match. He had begun as a wicket-keeper and went on to score a double century in club cricket.
What could have turned to be a promising cricketing career was cut short with the untimely demise of Dalmiya’s father. He had to join the family business of construction. But destiny had decided otherwise as Dalmiya joined the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in 1979.
When India won the Prudential World Cup in 1983 under the captainship of Kapil Dev, BCCI had no money to pay the cricketers. It was Dalmiya, who persuaded legendary singer Lata Mangeskar for a live concert, and collected prize money for the winning cricketers.
Since then, there was no looking back for Dalmiya as a cricket administrator. In 1987, he along with then BCCI president NKP Salve and IS Bindra were instrumental in bringing the Cricket World Cup to the Indian subcontinent. This marked the end the dominance of England in world cricket.
In 1993, he also ended the monopoly of Doordarshan in broadcasting the cricket tournaments and sold match telecast rights to a private television channel for the first time. His vision got a boost in 1997, when he was elected as the president International Cricket Council.
In 2001, he became BCCI president and in July, 2004 he also took over as the president of Asian Cricket Council.
He was expelled as BCCI president in 2006 over allegations of misappropriation of funds, but the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India later exonerated him.
After a few years of being away from cricket administration, he was back at helm of affairs of CAB in 2008. In 2013 the BCCI appointed him interim president following the N Srinivasan controversy. In March, 2015 Dalmiya was elected the full time BCCI president.
He was admitted to the B M Birla Heart Research Institute at Alipore in Kolkata on 17 September following complaints of chest pain and uneasiness. He underwent coronary angiography and was said to be stable.
But failing the doctors, he passed away at 8.45 pm on 21 September following internal gastrointestinal bleeding and internal organ failure.