After a gap of over 10 years, Jagmohan Dalmiya made an uncontested comeback as full time president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), while Anurag Thakur became the secretary at the board’s 85th annual general meeting (AGM) here on March 2, 2015.
As per BCCI rules, it was the turn of the east zone associations this year to nominate candidates for the elections. The former International Cricket Council (ICC) president, whose previous tenure as the BCCI chief ended in 2004, was a ‘neutral’ candidate from both the factions in the board.
While one camp was led by sidelined board president N. Srinivasan, the other group was led by Maharashtra strongman and former ICC boss Sharad Pawar.
Apart from the 74-year-old Dalmiya, the other new entrant is Haryana’s Anirudh Chaudhry who was appointed the treasurer, while Himachal Pradesh’s Anurag was named secretary.
Anurag, a nominee from the Pawar lobby, won the secretary’s post by one vote. His opponent was Baroda’s Sanjay Patel, favoured by Srinivasan.
Anirudh, belonging to the Srinivasan camp, defeated Uttar Pradesh’s Rajeev Shukla, a former BCCI vice president, for the post of treasurer.
Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) boss Amitabh Choudhary, from the Srinivasan camp, was elected joint secretary after he edged out Pawar’s ally Chetan Desai in a tie. Interim president and chairperson Shivlal Yadav exercised his vote in favour of the former.
Madhya Pradesh’s Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former union minister belonging to the Pawar camp, lost out in the race for the central zone’s vice president to C.K. Khanna of the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Kerala Cricket Association’s T.C. Mathew outvoted Pawar’s candidate Ravi Sawant to become the vice president from West Zone.
M.L. Nehru (North Zone), Gautam Roy (East Zone) and Ganga Raju (South Zone) became new vice presidents of their respective zones.
Dalmiya’s elevation to the position was necessitated by Srinivasan being forced to stay away from the election owing to a Supreme Court directive. Srinivasan was barred by the Supreme Court from contesting the election following the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing scam. He is a nominee of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).
The court is currently hearing the IPL spot-fixing scandal in which conflict of interest with regard to Srinivasan’s position as the BCCI president and owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings has come in for sharp criticism from the court.
An elated Bihar Cricket Association secretary Aditya Verma, the petitioner in the IPL spot fixing and betting case, welcomed the election of Dalmiya. He said his “mission” of getting rid of Srinivasan has finally been “accomplished”.
“Mission finally accomplished. I’ve earlier said if you have to save BCCI, then you must get rid of Srinivasan and this is what happened today which makes me happy. My long and tiring fight has finally borne results,” Verma told IANS over phone.
Former ICC chief Pawar, who was BCCI president from 2005-2008, was also eyeing the post, but had to backtrack after failing to find a proposer and seconder from the East Zone.
Dalmiya became BCCI treasurer in 1983 – the year India won the World Cup – and later served as its secretary, before becoming ICC chief for three years from 1997.
He took over as BCCI president in 2001 and continued to be the all-in-all on the board till his tenure ended in 2004.
Dalmiya then controlled the board by proxy for a year, with then president Ranbir Singh Mahendra being a mere puppet.
But in 2005, Pawar registered an emphatic victory to become BCCI chief with his team winning all the other key posts, as the Dalmiya camp suffered an embarrassing defeat.
Months later, the BCCI lodged a police complaint against Dalmiya for alleged misappropriation of funds related to the 1996 World Cup in which India was a co-host.
As Dalmiya faced a police probe, the BCCI expelled him in December 2006 which also forced him to step down as Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president.
In mid-2007, Dalmiya was exonerated by the court, and he returned to head the CAB in 2008, by defeating then president Prasun Mukherjee. However, in the next few years Dalmiya seemed only a shadow of his former self, shorn of his influence in the board.
In June, 2013, Dalmiya was appointed BCCI’s interim president after Srinivasan stepped aside till the probe into the latter’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in the IPL scandal was completed. Srinivasan returned in October 2013.