Dalmiya’s last rites performed

Kolkata, Sep 21 (IANS) The mortal remains of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya were consigned to the flames at the Keoratala crematorium here on Monday.

Dalmiya, 75, died at a city hospital on Sunday night after suffering massive gastrointestinal bleeding. The veteran administrator was rushed to a hospital on Thursday after he complained of chest pain. His last rites was performed at around 4 p.m.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited the crematorium with mayor Sovan Chatterjee and urban development minister Firhad Hakim. Top Trinamool Congress ministers alongwith Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretaries Sourav Ganguly and Subir Ganguly were also present. Tollywood actress Rituparna Sengupta also paid her last respects to Dalmiya.

Dalmiya’s son Abhishek performed the last rites with his wife by his side. Other family members including daughter Vaishali were also present.

Earlier a host of top functionaries of the BCCI, International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman N. Srinivasan, players and others paid their homage to the well known cricket administrator.

He was also given a 21-gun salute at the Eden Gardens cricket ground.

Both Srinivasan and veteran politician Sharad Pawar, who once combined to oust the all-powerful Dalmiya as head of the Indian cricket board, 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, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajiv Shukla and former India captain Sourav Ganguly.

“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.

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