Jagmohan Dalmiya, the BCCI president, has died at the BM Birla hospital in Kolkata, where he was hospitalised after he had suffered a heart attack on Thursday evening. Dalmiya, 75, had concerns over his health since he began his second term as president in March.
Dalmiya had been taken to hospital after complaining of chest pain on Thursday and had to have an angiography done. He was reported to be stable but remained in critical care for the next two days before passing away on Sunday night.
According to the BCCI constitution, if a president’s post is vacated midway through his tenure, “the secretary shall within fifteen days convene a Special General Body Meeting to elect the President who shall be nominated by at least one Full Member from the zone which proposed the name of the President whose term was cut short prematurely. Such person who is so elected shall hold office till the next elections.”
A long-serving cricket administrator, Dalmiya had been president of the ICC, held different offices in the BCCI, and occupied top posts in the Cricket Association of Bengal in a career that began in 1979.
“As a visionary and a father figure of Indian cricket, Mr. Dalmiya worked towards the development of the game of cricket in India. The cricketing fraternity will miss him dearly,” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur. “Mr. Dalmiya played a significant part in positioning Indian cricket at the global level and the astute administrator in him, guided Indian cricket to greater heights. His untiring efforts will be remembered for generations to come and his contribution to Indian cricket will remain unparalleled.”
Dalmiya is widely credited to be the person responsible for India’s emergence as world cricket’s financial powerhouse. He had initially made a name in construction, a business he took over from his father at the age of 20, and joined the BCCI in 1979. Along with IS Bindra, Dalmiya was the force behind bringing the World Cup to India in 1987, the first time the tournament was staged outside England.
He was elected ICC president in 1997 and served in the role until 2000, after which he was elected BCCI president for the first time in 2001. Dalmiya pulled the strings in an acrimonious BCCI election in 2004, when his casting vote helped Ranbir Singh Mahendra triumph, but he was beaten a year later by Sharad Pawar. His opponents went after him – Dalmiya was banned from BCCI meetings, and an FIR was filed against him – but Dalmiya bounced back to win the CAB presidential elections in July 2006.
Five months later the BCCI expelled him on charges of embezzling funds from the 1996 World Cup and he was forced to step down as CAB chief. After a long legal battle, he was allowed to contest the CAB elections again and he won the presidency in 2008.