Born into a Marwari family, Jagmohan Dalmiya was a known face in the world of Cricket. He was valued for his commitment and dedication. It was he who broke the monopoly of Australia and England making BCCI the richest board in the world. Apart from being Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India he also got elected as President of ICC becoming the first Asian and the first non-cricketer at the helm of ICC. His sudden demise was a great loss to the nation.
Often personal equations and understanding gives birth to long lasting relationship. Very true in case of iconic former cricket captain Sourav Ganguly and cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya. The understanding between the two deepened with time forming a closest pair in the world of Cricket. But the sudden passing away of Jagmohan Dalmiya on 20 September 2015 left Ganguly saddened. His untimely demise was a big loss to the world of Cricket and no less than a personal loss to Sourav Ganguly who hailed him in high esteem. In 2014 former India captain Sourav Ganguly got elected as joint secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) "I think it's a very good development as when I was the BCCI president, he was the captain (of Indian cricket team). As a team we've worked very well. I feel this team will work again," Dalmiya told reporters after the CAB's 83rd Annual General Meeting in Kolkata. A person with charismatic abilities his contribution will be ever remembered for his everlasting contribution in the world of cricket.
Early Life and Career
Born on 30 May 1940 into a Marwari family, Jagmohan Dalmiya attended Scottish Church College, Calcutta. During his stint as cricket player he played as a wicket keeper and an opener playing for one of the leading cricket clubs in Calcutta. He took over the reins of the business firm ML Dalmiya and Co at the age of 19 just after the sudden death of his farther. The firm constructed the famous Birla Planetarium in 1963. He was married to Chandralekha and had a son Avishek and daughter Vaishali.
Entry into Board of Control for Cricket in India
Jagmohan Dalmiya who was responsible for putting cricket on the global map joined the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 1979 as a representative of Cricket Association of Bengal, and became its treasurer in 1983 . The man from Bengal was instrumental in successful hosting of 1987 World Cup in Indian subcontinent. Though not an easy affair as his plans faced severer opposition from England, which earlier had hosted all three previous World Cups. But he alongwith other veterans of cricket worlds like Inderjit Singh Bindra and NKP Salve got support votes from Associate nations and the proposal was passed through International Cricket Council (ICC) with a huge majority. With his acumen he not only broke the monopoly of England but also paved way for rotation system for hosting the tournament. He ensured the final was played at Kolkata, renovating its clubhouse in time.
Bringing back South Africa in the World of Cricket
Dalmiya was not in favour of exclusion of South Africa from the game of cricket due to apartheid allegations. Despite opposition from the then ICC President Clyde Walcott he as BCCI president, invited South African team to play against India at Kolkata's Eden Gardens in 1991 ending their decade long exile from the field. Luck seems to be in favour of Jagmohan Dalmiya whose skilful administration led to the commercializing of the game. By 1996 World Cup, India had become a kind of power that couldn't be ignored on or off the field. He made Board of Control for Cricket in India one of the richest cricket boards in the world. He made a way by selling TV rights of cricket matches in India which resulted in generation of more revenue strengthening BCCI's position in the global marketplace.
As ICC Chief and BCCI President
By late 90's Jagmohan Dalmiya had firmly established his position in the world of Cricket. Till 2005 he hadn't lost an election. In 1997 he was unanimously elected President of the ICC and became the first Asian and the first non-cricketer at the helm of ICC. He transformed ICC from a simple sports body to profit earning body. During his tenure he made sure to add funds to the body via various legal routes. While in 1997, ICC had funds of £16000, by 2000 when his term ended it was about $15 million. In 2001 he was elected as the President of BCCI. Though his reign saw the controversial 'Denness Affair'. However he ran into legal troubles when his candidate Ranbir Singh Mahendra was ousted by Sharad Pawar, the then Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 2005 to 2008. Soon after Dalmiya was expelled from the board on charges of misappropriation of funds and refusing to provide certain documents. However he challenged the decision and came clean on various charges levelled against him. Calcutta High Court in 2010 dismissed charges against Dalmiya, paving way to contest for the presidency of the Cricket Association of Bengal, which he subsequently won. He was appointed as the interim president of the BCCI in 2013 after the controversial IPL Spot Fixing put hold on the presidency of N. Srinivasan. Finally after a long gap of 10-year in 2015 Dalmiya returned as BCCI President replacing Srinivasan.
Nicknamed as "Machiavelli of Indian cricket", the "master of realpolitik", the "king of comebacks" Jagmohan Dalmiya was the only man who revolutionised the way the cricket was played and taken. He broke the monopoly of Australia and England making BCCI the richest board in the world.
Illness and Death
Already 75 at the time during his second term as BCCI president in March 2015 he was suffereing from various ailments. But his health deteriorated in September and on 17 September 2015, he suffered a massive cardiac attack. Though admitted in BM Birla Hospital in Kolkata he showed no signs of improvement and passed away on 20 September. His funeral was attended by several dignitaries including former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, to pay their last respects to him. President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, ICC, and various national cricket boards sent condolences for Dalmiya.
ICC : The ICC extends its deepest condolences upon the passing away of BCCI President and former ICC President Jagmohan Dalmiya.
BCCI : BCCI condoles the sudden demise of our president Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Narendra Modi : My thoughts are with the family of Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya in this hour of grief. May Shri Dalmiya's soul rest in peace.
Mamata Banerjee : Sad. Jagmohan Dalmiya ji passes away. He was a giant amongst sports administrators, a true lover of Bengal. On my way to pay my respect. RIP
Shivraj Singh Chouhan : Deeply condole untimely demise of BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya. His contribution to cricket as administrator will always be remembered.
Sachin Tendulkar : Was touched by his efforts to make my penultimate Test at Eden Gardens very special. RIP Jagmohan Dalmiya. (3/3)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni : Respect to Mr Dalmiya for his contribution in Cricket.May his soul Rest in Peace.Strength and warmth to his loved ones !
Harbhajan Singh : Very very sad to hear the news of shri Jagmohan Dalmiya sir.big lose to all of us cricketers & @BCCI!!Salute to you for ur services!RIP sir
Mumbai Indians : Deepest condolence on the passing away of @BCCI President Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya. May your soul rest in peace sir.
Ashwin Ravichandran : My condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr.Jagmohan Dalmiya.A fine administrator he http://was.Rip sir.
“I began playing cricket, when he was the president. He was like a companion in my cricket career though I could hardly meet him, touring all over with the team” told Ganguly when asked about the absence of Jagmohan Dalmiya. Considering more personal loss he maintained that he will continue to take inspiration from the man who left an everlasting legacy behind.
Sourav Ganguly and Cricket Association of Bengal
(FOLLOWER OF Mr. JAGMOHAN DALMIYA)
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