Royal snub to Dalmiya

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  • Published 27.09.08

Mumbai: Prasun Mukherjee and his men, who had the blessings of the Sharad Pawar group, were routed in the last Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) elections, but that didn’t come in the way of Mukherjee confidant Raja Venkat being chosen as East’s selector on the senior selection committee.

For reasons of protocol, the announcement will be made on Saturday, during the AGM of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Pawar group has, in fact, snubbed Jagmohan Dalmiya big by getting on board somebody so closely identified with Mukherjee, who’d stepped in after Dalmiya had to leave the CAB presidentship in December 2006.

That, of course, was because the one-time strongman of Asian cricket had been expelled from the Pawar-headed BCCI.

Dalmiya made a comeback this July and, as a result, nobody from the CAB was consulted on the issue of the next selector. The CAB is the principal affiliate from the East.

Venkat wasn’t a candidate in the last elections, but he’d been on Mukherjee’s panel in 2006 and, like the-then commissioner of police, had been defeated. Venkat, in fact, managed no more than 39 votes in his quest to become a joint secretary.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Pawar and Co. had “empowered” Orissa’s Ranjib Biswal (the outgoing selector from East) and Tripura’s Arindam Ganguly to recommend the names of the ones best suited.

Till the other day, they’d only been looking at Bengal’s Gopal Bose (who has played unofficial Tests and an ODI) and Assam’s Rajesh Borah. Venkat came into the picture on the recommendation of a highly influential former president of the BCCI.

The former president forwarded the Venkat-file, so to say, to president-designate Shashank Manohar and Bose’s fate got sealed with a capital S. Borah went out of the frame even earlier.

Borah, however, has been accommodated in the junior selection committee.