Calcutta, Dec. 16: The man who turned cricket into a cash cow was today squeezed out of the game’s administration by long-time rivals.
Jagmohan Dalmiya, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, was expelled by the Sharad Pawar-controlled BCCI at a special general body meeting.
A resolution adopted at the meeting in Jaipur not only banished him from the board but also from any position in any state-level body.
It means Dalmiya cannot remain president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). But the man who has held a string of top cricket posts, including the presidency of the International Cricket Council, wasn’t about to curl up and concede defeat.
His lawyer Pradeep Agarwal said: “The decision to expel (him) will definitely be challenged in court.”
“We are not going to take it lying down… This is one of the darkest days in Indian cricket administration,” said a Dalmiya confidant.
The meeting took the action after considering the Pawar-led disciplinary committee report that had found him guilty of financial irregularities.
Dalmiya was given the right of appeal against the punishment after three years.
If the decision was a shock, Dalmiya might be equally pained by the verdict of two in favour and 29 against, with all of his erstwhile acolytes deserting him.
Even Ranbir Singh Mahendra, who had become BCCI chief with his support, defeating Pawar, did not vote for him.
“They did it for fear of grants being stopped,” said another Dalmiya confidant.
Only CAB and the National Cricket Club (NCC), which too Dalmiya heads, backed him.
“I have come to know that they are also going to take action against CAB and NCC. Let us first receive the letter (from BCCI) and then I would decide,” Dalmiya was quoted as saying by PTI.
According to a legal expert, however, Rule 38 (V) of the BCCI constitution, which has been used to winkle him out of CAB, is an “unenforceable law”.
Dalmiya, who was not allowed to take his lawyer into the meeting, argued that a “biased” disciplinary committee had failed to answer his queries. But no one was willing to listen.
He left before the expulsion decision was made in 15 minutes. “Everything was fixed,” said a confidant.
Not many years ago, Dalmiya had got friend-turned-foe Bindra banned. Today, Bindra had his revenge, though he would not admit it.
“There is nothing personal. It was officially discussed and decision taken,” Bindra said.