Monday, March 2, 2015

Jagmohan Dalmiya - जगमोहन डालमिया

Jagmohan Dalmiya, born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India on May 30, 1940, is an Indian cricket administrator. He is also nicknamed in the media as the Machiavelli of Indian cricket, master of realpolitik, the master of comebacks and so on. He is currently President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket Association of Bengal. He has previously served as President of the International Cricket Council. He is also a businessman from the city of Kolkata.

Dalmiya hails from a Marwari family based in Kolkata.  He studied at the Scottish Church College, Calcutta. He started his career as a wicketkeeper, playing for cricket clubs (including his college team) in Calcutta and had once made a double-century. He joined his father's firm ML Dalmiya and Co. and made it into one of India's top construction firms. His firm constructed Calcutta's M.P.Birla Planetarium in 1963.

He joined the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in 1979, and became its treasurer in 1983 (the year India won theCricket World Cup) and later, along with bureaucrat Inderjit Singh Bindra helped to win the right to stage the World Cup in South Asia in 1987 and 1996. He has been elected the President of BCCI on numerous occasions. In 1996 he received 23 votes to 13 for Australia's Malcolm Gray in an election for Chairman of the International Cricket Council, but failed to attain the two-thirds majority necessary under the ICC Constitution. However, in 1997 he was unanimously elected President of the ICC (as the position had been renamed), which office he held for three years.

He was involved in a major row with the ICC over the so-called 'Denness Affair,' where ICC referee and former England captain Mike Denness found Sachin Tendulkar guilty of a technical breach of the rules (misreported in the Indian media as an allegation of ball-tampering) and giving him a fine and suspended sentence, while also banning Virender Sehwag for one match for claiming a catch off a bump ball. There was a major argument and questions were asked in the Indian Parliament.Dalmiya demanded a right of appeal from the ICC, which was refused, and also demandingthat Denness be replaced as match referee for the following test or it would be cancelled.  Ultimately, as Denness was not permitted to referee the final match of the series by the BCCI and the UCBSA, it was stripped of Test status by the ICC.

In the 2005 BCCI board elections, his candidate Ranbir Singh Mahendra was ousted by Indian government minister Sharad Pawar as the head cricket official of India. Late the following year, he was expelled from the board for alleged misappropriation of funds and refusing to provide certain documents.

However, in May 2007, when he challenged the decision in the Bombay High Court and then the Supreme Court of India he was exonerated as the BCCI was unable to prove their charge of financial irregularities against him.

In July 2007, the Calcutta High Court dismissed charges against him, and allowed him to contest for the presidency of theCricket Association of Bengal, which he subsequently won.

In June 2013, he was appointed as the interim president of the BCCI after N. Srinivasan stepped aside till the probe on Srinivasan's son-in-law's alleged involvement in spot-fixing in the 2013 Indian Premier League was completed. Srinivasan resumed the presidency in October 2013. On 2 March 2015 Dalmiya returned as BCCI president after a 10 year gap replacing N. Srinivasan.

In 2005 he was awarded the International Journal of the History of Sports Achievement award for administrative excellence in global sport.

In 1996, the BBC declared him to be one of the world's top six sports executives. When Australia and West Indies refused to play in terror-scarred Sri Lanka during the 1996 World Cup, he conjured up a united India-Pakistan team in a matter of days to play friendlies against Sri Lanka there. In 1991, when the boycott of South Africa officially ended, he arranged a tour of the South African cricket team in India that went a long way in helping them shed the stigma of apartheid.

Australian cricketer and commentator Ian Chappell has said of Dalmiya: "He has a vision for the game’s progress that I haven’t heard enunciated by any other so-called leader among cricket officials." 
Dalmiya’s wife hails from the Ghosh family of Pathuriaghata. He has a daughter and a son.


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