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Dalmiya: King of Comebacks back at BCCI helm

Dalmiya: King of Comebacks back at BCCI helm
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Expelled from the position in 2006, the 74-year-old was today elected BCCI president in the Board’s much-delayed 85th Annual General Meeting after Sharad Pawar pulled out of race failing to get a proposer from the East Zone.

Dubbed the ‘Asian Tiger’ and master of the board game, who practically held all cricketing administrative positions after starting off as a treasurer in the Cricket Association of Bengal in 1978, Dalmiya went on to be the ICC President in March 1997 before leading BCCI from 2001-2004 before December 2006 ended his reign. Accused of misappropriation of funds and a refusal to provide the relevant accounts and documents pertaining to a few cases, Dalmiya was expelled from the Indian board in a meeting in Jaipur.

An opening batsman and wicketkeeper during his early days, Dalmiya did not give up as he challenged the charges in the Bombay High Court and then at the Supreme Court of India. Finally he heaved a sigh of relief in July 2007, when the Calcutta High Court dismissed the charges against him. He was exonerated as the BCCI was unable to prove their charge of financial irregularities against him. After being allowed by the High Court to contest for the presidency of the Cricket Association of Bengal, Dalmiya silently made his return and has held the post with little challenge. His equation with the Board has changed ever since as many have now termed him N Srinivasan ‘loyalist’.

His moment of reckoning came in June, 2013 in the aftermath of IPL spot-fixing scandal when he was appointed the interim President after Srinivasan stepped aside due to conflict of interest in owning Chennai Super Kings franchise. Many had termed it an aberration as age was definitely not on his side as the astute septuagenarian quietly made his way into the top brass of BCCI fully aware of his credibility and image. As it turned out, Dalmiya who had two crucial East Zone votes -- CAB and the
National Cricket Club -- became the unanimous choice, this time as a fulltime BCCI president.

Born on May 30, 1940 to a Marwari business family that had migrated from Bhiwani, Rajasthan, Dalmiya studied in the Scottish Church College. As an opening batsman and wicketkeeper, Dalmiya represented Jorabagan Club (1957-60), Rajasthan Club (60-62) and National Athletic Club (63-78).

In 1963, he entered cricket administration by becoming Rajasthan Club secretary and his stint with the CAB began in 1978 when then secretary Biswanath Dutt appointed him treasurer. He was elevated to CAB joint secretary and then to the top post in 1993. Dalmiya has not looked back since then. He has held the CAB top post since 1993 barring a 19-month hiatus after his expulsion from Sharad Pawar-led BCCI following the fund embezzlement charges in December 2006. His foray into BCCI was also being a treasurer under then president NKP Salve in 1983.
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