Paying rich tribute to Jagmohan Dalmiya who passed away recently, Cricket Association of Bengal president-designate Sourav Ganguly said that the former BCCI chief was one administrator who had only friends all over the world.
Dalmiya, who passed away on September 20, occupied all the top positions in cricket administration in the state, national and international level since his foray in 1977.
"The one thing that would remain forever in my mind was people remembered him fondly wherever I went across the world. You don't always remain in power, that's the law of nature. He was not the president always but despite that wherever I went, be it New Zealand, the West Indies, England or Pakistan everybody sent him 'salaam'," Ganguly said in CAB's condolence meeting.
"In Pakistan, people would say 'unko mera salaam dena', in England they would say, 'do send him my regards'. When you become an administrator, you have friends and enemies but he was one person who had well wishers all over the world," he said.
The condolence meeting was attended by former India batsmen Sanjay Manjrekar and VVS Laxman, BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary, the CAB office bearers, senior members and Dalmiya's family at Eden Gardens.
Ganguly said it was a "proud" moment that till the last, Dalmiya was at the pinnacle of cricket administration.
"I don't know how to address him, whether as Jaguda or Mr Dalmiya, so I'm addressing him as 'sir' today," an emotional Ganguly said.
"I'm personally very sad that I would not be able to see him in the president's chair, and not at his residence. But you can say I'm proud that till last he was at the peak, as the BCCI president," said Ganguly, who has been named the next CAB president.
"I began playing cricket, when he was the president. He was like a companion in my cricket career though I could hardly meet him, touring all over with the team."
Dalmiya is survived by wife Chandralekha, daughter Vaishali, son Avishek, daughter-in-law Koeli and grandson Aditya. Ganguly said he and the CAB would always be there with the bereaved family.