The cricket pitch across India would never be the same again! One of the game’s best known administrator and the face that converted India into a cricketing powerhouse is lost forever. Yes I am talking about Jagmohan Dalmiya. Late last night he succumbed to a massive cardiac arrest after being hospitalised for chest pain 3 days ago.
He was born in Kolkata on May 30, 1940 and went on to join the BCCI in 1979. Soon he ascended to the top spot and alongwith other enthusiastic members of the board like, I.S. Bindra he managed to bring the World Cup to India in 1987. Later he headed the International Cricket Board in 1997 and the Cricket Board of India 2001 to 2004. Of course many would say that the debacle of the 1996 World Cup Opening was his doing to but let’s not forget cricket became a force to reckon with in the subcontinent only because of visionaries like Mr Dalmiya. His election this year after being the consensus candidate came as no surprise to anyone but failing health marred effective administration this time on.
The man and his charisma is well borne out by the fact that tribute started pouring in soon after the declaration of his demise. No less than the Prime Minister of India tweeted that, “My thoughts are with the family of Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya in this hour of grief. May Shri Dalmiya’s soul rest in peace.” The list also included nig names of the cricketing world, West Bengal’s Chief Minister and many other luminaries.
Jagmohan Dalmiya is no more but it is hard to ignore his contribution in realising the commercial potential of cricket in India and almost impossible to deny his contribution as an efficient administrator of the game and India Cricket will forever remain indebted to him.