Indian cricket's Rocky Balboa - Jagmohan Dalmiya passes away

MUMBAI: The man had a lot of problems with India not hosting any big cricket tournament in its own backyard, the man who actually understood how big a business cricket is, the man who played a pivotal role in making the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest cricket body in the world, the master of comebacks, the real politick - Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of BCCI, aged 75 died due to gastro intestinal bleeding on 20 September. He had been hospitalised since Thursday following a cardiac arrest.


In the year 1979, Jagmohan Dalmiya - the son of construction tycoon Dalmiya and Co family joined BCCI, but he came in the forefront after winning the holding rights of world cricket's biggest tournament - the World Cup in 1987. 


At an early stage of his administrative career, he understood the value of making money, from advertisements between the overs to on-field sponsors, Dalmiya was instrumental in playing out every such initiative. 


His opponents took many routes to oust him but true fighter that he was, Dalmiya made a come back each time. In 2006, he was accused of "misappropriation of funds" and was thrown out of all BCCI administrative posts. Media pundits claimed his administrative career to be clinically dead and a new era was welcomed under politician Sharad Pawar. 


However, the game of the king of comebacks, was anything but over. Dalmiya overcame all obstacles with ease, hunger and political smartness. A year later in 2007 he made a comeback as president of Cricket Association of Bengal. In 2013 he took up the role of BCCI acting president when N Srinivasan was forced to step aside. In 2015 he became BCCI president again.


His fights were not limited to cricket administration. Even off the field, whenever needed he made notable appearances to fight for his players. In the 2001 South Africa tour, several Indian players were reprimanded by English referee Mike Denness, which was backed by ICC chief executive Malcom Speed. But Dalmiya decided to back his players and it turned out to be a war between Dalmiya and rest. The result was overwhelming. The third test for which the players were reprimanded became an unofficial one, other than the ban on Virender Sehwag, all other bans were lifted. The most important and notable outcome of the entire Denness Affair was that the Englishman managed to officiate in only two test matches and three ODIs. Post that, his contract was never renewed by the ICC.


Dalmiya was at the forefront of many creations but what arguably will remain as one of the biggest creation of his would be cricketer Sourav Ganguly. Many still say that the master class batsmen would have never worn the national jersey if Dalmiya was not there in the administration. It was he who played a vital role in Ganguly’s debut.


Many BCCI leaders will tweet and give news bytes condoling his death, but the only way to respect his contribution will be by bringing utmost transparency in the board's administration. 


Rest in Peace Mr. Dalmiya!

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