Calcutta: Prasun Mukherjee has, in the past, visited the Eden Gardens in different capacities ' trip No. 1 being during the India-West Indies Test in 1978-79.
On Sunday, he will be entering the headquarters of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) as a candidate for the top post.
The elections, of course, are some weeks away ' Wednesday’s working committee meeting is to decide on the date, which traditionally falls in the last week of July.
Sunday, though, is going to be special as president Jagmohan Dalmiya has called an emergent meeting of the CAB’s affiliates to place before them chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s “views” conveyed through sports minister Subhas Chakraborty.
Basically, that he (Dalmiya) shouldn’t offer himself as a candidate for a post he has held for well over a decade.
While Dalmiya backers maintain he has made a smart “tactical move,” those lobbying for Mukherjee are pretty incensed.
“Is Dalmiya trying to hold an election before the elections' This is not on,” pointed out a confidant of the city’s police commissioner.
Whatever, no voting is on the agenda of the emergent meeting (to be held in the Conference Room of the Dr B.C.Roy Club House).
The 121 affiliates ' 94 clubs, 18 districts, 8 universities and the Office Sports Federation ' will only get the opportunity to “air” their views on an unprecedented development in these parts.
Much of the attention, obviously, is on who’re going to represent the affiliates.
Mukherjee, for example, will either be there in the Calcutta Police Club or Police Athletic Club colours.
“Having announced my candidature, I’ve got to go there (CAB) at some point in time' However, my going tomorrow must not be such a big issue,” Mukherjee told The Telegraph late on Saturday.
One expects Snehashish Ganguly, elder brother of former Team India captain Sourav, to be present.
Snehashish has taken a strong anti-Dalmiya line and, in the absence of anything to the contrary, it confirms that Sourav isn’t on the same wavelength as his one-time mentor with a capital M.
While no show of hands is on the cards, “floor management” is still going to be crucial.
The Dalmiya camp is expected to rely rather heavily on one-time Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) joint-secretary Goutam Das Gupta to do the needful.
Over the years, Dalmiya has headed the International Cricket Council, the Afro-Asian Cricket Cooperation, Asian Cricket Council and the BCCI.
It’s an extraordinary CV, but he’s being held responsible for a number of things ' the failure to plot Sourav’s recall, strained relations with the Sharad Pawar-headed BCCI and more'
As for Mukherjee, widely regarded as a highly efficient IPS officer, he has the backing of the state’s most powerful individual ' the chief minister.
Whether we’re in for the mother of all contests, some weeks from now, may just be known in a few hours.
It’s highly unlikely, after all, that Dalmiya won’t fight.
According to his inner circle, he has let it be known he wouldn’t like his innings to end at a time when detractors have forced a question mark over his integrity.
For the moment, though, Dalmiya is simply asking: “Why this hype'”
Well, he should know.
all the drama in the lead-up
MAY 25: Former Bengal players hold a meeting at a city club to garner support for Sourav Ganguly. They also discuss the health of Bengal cricket and accuse the CAB of not doing much at the grassroots level. City police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee is also there
The same evening, state sports minister Subhas Chakraborty meets CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya
MAY 31: It is more or less confirmed that Mukherjee will contest for the post of president in the ensuing CAB elections
JUNE 6: State urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya, known to be closed to Sourav, calls for Dalmiya’s resignation
June 18: Mukherjee confirms he will contest
Dalmiya says Mukherjee is a “perfect gentleman”
Former chief minister Jyoti Basu criticises Mukherjee’s decision
JUNE 19: Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee makes a dramatic declaration, saying that he doesn’t want Dalmiya to contest the CAB elections. Sports minister asked to convey this message to Dalmiya
CM says he has also asked Sourav to “take responsibility”
Sourav says he won’t react till he has spoken to the CM
JUNE 20: Former cricketers and footballers meet at the Aryan club to endorse the ‘Dalmiya hatao’ campaign. Mukherjee, mayor Bikash Bhattacharya and Sourav’s elder brother Snehashish are present
Dalmiya goes to meet Basu at his Salt Lake residence but fails to do so as he is indisposed
JUNE 21: Sports minister conveys CM’s message to Dalmiya
Dalmiya says he can’t take any decision alone and decides to call an emergent meeting of the affiliated bodies of the CAB to seek their opinion
JUNE 22: Sports minister expresses solidarity with Dalmiya and says he will ask the CM to intervene if it was found that the BCCI was doing injustice to him
PWD minister Kshiti Goswami criticises his government’s decision to interfere in CAB elections
Dalmiya announces that the emergent meeting will be held on July 2
JUNE 23: Basu speaks against CM’s decision to support Mukherjee at a Left Front meeting
JUNE 29: The BCCI withholds all subsidies and payments to the CAB, ostensibly because of misappropriation of funds by Dalmiya
Mukherjee says: “It only shows where the CAB administration has come to”
JUNE 30: Dalmiya threatens to move court against the BCCI. He describes its action as “vindictive” and “nothing but a stunt”