The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nair in, Dalmiya stays, as expected

Calcutta: True to trends, S. K. Nair is the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) new secretary. Jagmohan Dalmiya was re-elected president unopposed along with joint secretary Jyoti Bajpai and treasurer Kishore Rungta.

Nair, the dominant Dalmiya group’s candidate for the secretary’s post defeated incumbent Niranjan Shah 18-12 with one vote of the 31 polled being cancelled at the annual general meeting Thursday.

The numbers had overwhelmingly favoured Nair (20-plus), but it was largely because of personal equations that Shah managed to woo in some voters.

Brijesh Patel was elected new chairman of the senior selection committee. The new incumbents were Kiran More (West), Kirti Azad (North) and Pranab Roy (East). Sanjay Jagdale (Central) retained his place.

The vice-presidents were also elected uncontested — Ranbir Singh Mahendra (North), M. Ranga Reddy (South), Prafulla Kumar Mahanta (East), Narhari Amin (West) and Kamal Morarka (Central).

“I shall work to the best of my ability to serve the interests of the Board and that of Indian cricket,” Dalmiya said. “Elections have been a time-tested tradition of the Board. Once these are over, we always work together for the cause of cricket.”

The AGM was reduced to a one-day affair after all items listed on the agenda were dealt with on the opening day itself.

Raj Singh Dungarpur, who was spearheading the rival group, largely remained reticent. In fact, Dungarpur did not turn up for the post-lunch session and was represented by a CCI member who is also an office-bearer at the MCA.

“I maybe a by-product of the monarchy but I respect democracy,” said a phlegmatic Dungarpur before leaving for Mumbai. Former president A. C. Muthiah did not appear at the AGM.

The other important decisions taken and discussed at the AGM included:

n All actions taken by Dalmiya in the recent controversy over team sponsorship and players’ endorsements in the ICC events were ratified by the general body. The members also authorised the president to take any further action in the matter in the best interests of the Board.

n The Board has written to its marketing agent International Merchandising Corporation (IMC) to ascertain whether it was finding a new sponsor for the Indian team or if it wanted to pull out of its contract with the BCCI. “We have written to them but have not received any reply. We are waiting for them to react. Then only will we decide on our next course of action,” Dalmiya said.

n All affiliated units have been asked to appoint a fitness trainer for their respective Ranji Trophy and under-19 teams within October 31.

n The Board is also looking for a chief physical trainer at the NCA. Discussions are on with Alex Kontouri, now with the Sri Lankan team. The Board will also appoint five trainers for zonal academies.

n The fitness equipment being imported by the Board amounting to Rs 3.5 crore would soon be received by the affiliated units and these would be operational from November.

n William Walmsley of the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute is currently visiting all the 11 centres in which the preparation of grounds and wickets had been taken up. He is being accompanied by G. Kasturirangan, chairman of the grounds and pitches committee and other zonal co-ordinators. The progress of work reported so far has been highly satisfactory. Once the current work is accomplished successfully, the remaining centres will be taken up next year.

n A request was received from Lata Mangeshkar by the Board for permission for a match in aid of the Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital she had built in Pune. The Board usually does not entertain such requests from individuals. But the members recalled with gratitude that she had come forward to raise funds for the Board through a function in 1983. The Board’s coffers were then empty and it was only because of Mangeshkar that felicitation of the World Cup winning players was made possible. As a token of gratitude, the members decided that permission be granted to her as a special case.

n The president was empowered to form a cricket committee that would comprise players, coaches, umpires, fitness training experts and other technical persons, besides the administrators. Sunil Gavaskar will head the committee. The technical committee will, however, continue.

n The itinerary for West Indies’ tour of India will have slight alteration. The visitors will play a match against Ranji champions Railways instead of Board President’s XI or India A.

n Indian Airlines will sponsor a tournament among Union territories and will also give 50 percent discount to all teams participating in the two-tier Ranji Trophy this season.

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