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Dalmiya back with a bang

Last updated on: July 29, 2008 23:57 IST

Riding high on the anti-incumbency wave at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), Jagmohan Dalmiya on Tuesday regained the president's post having spent 18 months in wilderness.

The former ICC president garnered 71 votes, from a total of 118 and beat the seasoned Prasun Mukherjee by an overwhelming margin of 24 votes, to stage a remarkable comeback into active administration.

It remains to be seen how Dalmiya's comeback has a bearing on the Sharad Pawar-led Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) and former India captain Sourav Ganguly who had threatened to quit playing for Bengal cricket.

Having successfully challenged the BCCI ban on him in the court of law, the veteran administrator, accused of misappropriating PILCOM accounts, has finally clawed his way back into the corridors of power in Indian cricket.

The BCCI, meanwhile, has maintained a firm silence so far on Dalmiya's effort to come back to power.

President Sharad Pawar had said "why should I react on CAB election, an internal matter?"

BCCI secretary Nirajan Shah had a diplomatic stand as he said, "There won't be any problem. It is a democratic process and BCCI would obviously have no effect of it".

Dalmiya was unruffled when asked if BCCI would freeze all support to the Bengal association.

"This won't be the case. No collective body can do that.

I don't think it's going to happen. If it happens we will have to cross the bridge and look into it," 68-year old Dalmiya had said on the eve of the election.

Dalmiya had stayed at the helm of CAB for 13 years at a stretch before relinquishing in December 2006.

An indomitable Dalmiya had, after the latest round of attention from the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police for alleged misappropriation of PILCOM funds, said, "I'm more determined now. It seems a real possibility to come back to the cricket administration."

Having taken over the reins of CAB, post-Dalmiya era, Mukherjee in one-year-and-a-half lost significant support especially after Bengal's fall from the Elite Group this season.

The competence of the present CAB management repeatedly came under the scrutiny after the former police city police commissioner took over.

Known as a master negotiator, Dalmiya was the first Asian chief of the ICC (1997-2000) and was also the secretary of the BCCI (1993-1996) and later the president (2001-2005).

Having ousted by his bete noire Pawar in the January 2006 BCCI polls, Dalmiya consequently was expelled from the Board for alleged misappropriation of funds refusing to provide certain documents.

Counting of votes for other posts (vice-presidents, joint-secretaries, treasurer and the trustee board) were on late Tuesday night. Another issue which was raised was Bengal's relegation from the Elite Division last season.

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