BCCI bigwigs, Srinivasan, Pawar pay homage to Dalmiya

Kolkata, Sep 21 (IANS) A host of top functionaries of the Indian cricket board, ICC chairman N. Srinivasan, players and others paid their homage to Jagmohan Dalmiya, the well known cricket administrator and the board president, whose body was kept at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Monday.

Dalmiya, 75, died at a city hospital on Sunday night after suffering a massive gastrointestinal bleeding. The veteran administrator was rushed to a hospital on Thursday night after he complained of chest pain.

Both Srinivasan and veteran politician Sharad Pawar, who once combined to oust the all-powerful Dalmiya as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), hailed the man for his administrative abilities.

Among those who paid their last respects to Dalmiya here were Indian cricket team’s director Ravi Shastri, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, and Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajiv Shukla, former India captain Sourav Ganguly among others.

“He was an outstanding administrator and did a lot for Indian cricket. He was a great man,” said Srinivasan.

Pawar, who shared a bitter-sweet relationship with Dalmiya over the years, said the “void created by Dalmiya’s absence was difficult to be filled”.

“He was a true sport administrator, a dynamic personality loved by everyone in India and abroad. He was a visionary leader, a great sport administrator. He will be remembered by the world for bringing in reforms to the game of cricket,” said Thakur.

“The void created by his death cannot be filled,” said Shukla.

Media baron Subhas Chandra hailed Dalmiya for popularising the game.

“Cricket will suffer a great deal due to his absence. He not only brought wealth to Indian cricket but also to the global cricket. He brought millions and billions of dollars to the ICC,” said Chandra.

“This is a loss to the entire world of cricket. He helped not only the BCCI but also the ICC in gaining financial stability,” Ratnakar Shetty said.

“During the Sachin Tendulkar-Mike Denness controversy in which Sachin was accused of ball tampering, Dalmiya was the one who said we will play without a match referee and for the first time it happened,” he recalled, referring to the controversy in South Africa in 2001.

Dalmiya’s mortal remains were subsequently taken to a city crematorium where his funeral will take place later in the day. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday announced Dalmiya would be accorded state honours.

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