Comeback-man Dalmiya keen on clean-up drive

Board games

Comeback-man Dalmiya keen on clean-up drive

After being named to look after the affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday, Jagmohan Dalmiya said his first job was to cleanse cricket of the betting and spot-fixing scandal.

“My priorities are to keep the day-to-day affairs of the board running, and then to clean up cricket. I don't have too much time in my hand, so I need to work quickly on that. Our cricket needed to be cleansed of the recent scandal, and need to do that quickly. These are my priorities at this moment,” the 73-year-old Dalmiya told Deccan Herald after emerging from the Working Committee meeting here.

Dalmiya, however, said none of the members who attended the meeting asked for the resignation of Srinivasan. “No. There wasn’t any demand for the resignation of Srinivasan from the members. In the meeting, the main point of discussion was that how to clean up the problems that Indian cricket have been facing for the last few days. All the members were unanimous in their thinking that the game of cricket should be cleansed of the recent mess,” Dalmiya said.

Dalmiya was contradicting IS Bindra, who attended the meeting in his capacity as the president of the Punjab Cricket Association.

Bindra said he was the only member who asked Srinivasan to resign with immediate effect in the meeting, pointing out the arrest of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan for his alleged links with bookies.

“In order to restore public faith in cricket and in the BCCI, Srinivasan should step down at least until September, and he was not willing to do so,” Bindra had said.
It is a comeback of sorts for Dalmiya into the BCCI set-up after his candidate – Ranbir Singh Mahendra -- was defeated in the election held in Kolkata in 2005 by the group led by Srinivasan, Sharad Pawar, Lalit Modi and Shashank Manohar. That election also signaled the end of Dalmiya’s hold in BCCI, till he was brought back in the interim role on the day.      

That acrimonious election set off a series of legal battles between Dalmiya, who continued to wield considerable influence in the affairs of the Cricket Association of Bengal, and the then BCCI regime led by Pawar and then by Manohar.

An amicable settlement was reached nearly couple of years ago when the BCCI decided to drop the case against Dalmiya to recover Rs 46 crore in connection with his role in the PILCOM, the organising committee of the 1996 World Cup.

Dalmiya wasn’t ready to look back at the old episodes.  “To make it clear, I wasn't thrown out of the BCCI back then. I was clean when I went out of the BCCI some 10 years ago.

“Now, I am back and nothing has changed. I will try to discharge the duties with as much honesty as I can,” said the veteran administrator.

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