The mastermind behind India co-hosting the Reliance World Cup in 1987 and the Wills World Cup in 1996, Jagmohan Dalmiya changed the fate of Indian cricket and how! A wicketkeeper playing for clubs, cricket was not just a vocation for him, but much, much more than that.
Born into a Marwari Bania family, Dalmiya’s name was tantamount to the powerhouse of cricket where he rewrote the history of the game as he became the icon of India’s influential presence globally. Turning the tables, he began his administrative career by becoming a member of the Cricket Association of Bengal working committee from Rajasthan Club, after which, he became the treasurer of BCCI in the mid 1980s.
Emerging as the undisputed winner at the elections, he became the president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1997. Soon later in 2001, he replaced A.C. Muttiah and became the president of BCCI in Chennai. During his 35 year long career, his biggest contribution to Indian cricket was striking a multi-million television deal with World Tel- a move that resulted in making BCCI the wealthiest cricketing body across the globe.
A sincere protégé of B.N. Dutt, a former BCCI president, Dalmiya often gave credit to Dutt for teaching him the details of sports administration. Sometimes a shrewd politician and at other times an astute businessman, he was the man who drove BCCI forward as a commercial source of power. Making India the hub of world cricket, Dalmiya backed the Indian cricketers when they were held guilty of technical breach of rules. Though Dalmiya faced his share of fire when he was charged with the misappropriation of funds and expelled from BCCI, he bounced back with a bang. He was appointed as the interim president of BCCI replacing N. Srinivasan, who had to step aside in lieu of his son-in-law’s alleged association with spot-fixing.
Having witnessed it all- the good, bad and the ugly- Jagmohan Dalmiya was arguably the most celebrated king of the game of cricket in India, and what’s more? He was instrumental in shifting the power base from Lord’s to Kolkata’s Eden Gardens throughout his monumental career.
Meeting his end with his boots on, his demise has now sparked off a new row of speculation. Who will be the next president of BCCI?
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