The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Silent winner mulls options
- After and before victory, behind-the-scenes drama

Calcutta, July 31: Unable to cope with numerous requests for interviews, Jagmohan Dalmiya’s aides were planning a media conference around 6.30 this evening.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s attack, though, scuppered that. Facing questions on what’s good and what’s evil would have been uncomfortable, to say the least.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Dalmiya is unlikely to make any comment till at least Friday, when the CPM has its weekly state secretariat meeting.

If the party endorses what Bhattacharjee said this afternoon, Dalmiya may consider announcing this will be his last year as Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president.

He has been in the chair from 1992-93 and more than proved a point by defeating Bhattacharjee’s candidate, city police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, in yesterday’s elections.

Dalmiya need not strive for more.

If the CAB cookie does crumble that way, Dalmiya could move to heading the Board of Trustees, which is currently chaired by Chandi Ganguly, Snehashish and Sourav’s father.

“Dalmiya has to wait and watch' The post-AGM drama hasn’t ended' However, running the CAB is going to be difficult if the state’s most powerful entity (Bhattacharjee) takes such a hostile stand,” a well-placed source said.

Bhattacharjee has exploded, but Mukherjee had been a sporting loser: last night, he accepted having been defeated in a “free and fair” poll.

It’s to be seen, incidentally, whether Dalmiya’s victory reduces the pressure he’s under within the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

For now, he’s awaiting legal opinion on the fresh summons from its disciplinary committee. The rescheduled hearing is in Chennai on August 15.

Sourav, meanwhile, didn’t react to the Dalmiya panel’s sweep.

In the lead-up to the elections, Sourav had sent an email which obliquely crucified Dalmiya. It’s another matter that it didn’t help the challenger in any manner.

“I don’t have a comment on anything'. Neither on what John Wright has written in his book (Indian Summers) nor on the CAB elections,” Sourav insisted when contacted in Northampton.

Sourav wasn’t aware of Bhattacharjee’s latest attack on Dalmiya, but became curious about what had been said. He preferred not to react, though, even after the gist was conveyed.

“I’m not saying anything, except that I’ll be back home on August 7,” Sourav, whose stint with Northants has ended, signed off.

Footnote: Late last night, Dalmiya took a dig at his one-time prot'g', albeit obliquely: “If anybody thinks emails can influence elections, then he’s a baccha'”.

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