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More Power to Pawar.
by Gulu Ezekiel
Dec 03, 2005
The sigh of relief heard round the cricket world, including in India--at the fall of Jagmohan Dalmiya could well have had the force to create another tsunami.

Dalmiya has many achievements to his credit. But much of the goodwill these created has been steadily eroded by his machinations and refusal to give up the reins of power in the BCCI.

This hunger for office and wheeling-dealing methods saw him cling on to power in a most unseemly manner this year behind the proxy shadow of that puppet, Ranbir Singh Mahindra.

Now for the loser to whine about politicians entering the board (and after all, Mahindra is a small-time Haryana politician too) is a bit rich. Dalmiya had the ability to teach even the most hardened of politicians a thing or two about hanging on in the corridors of powers.

In that sense the Congress party backing Sharad Pawar all the way and ganging up on Dalmiya was nothing but a taste of his own medicine. Poetic justice; hoist by his own petard, call it what you will. But the distinct impression among cricket followers is that Dalmiya had begun to consider the Board as his personal fiefdom. The refusal to quit gracefully has now seen him with egg on his face.

Dalmiya will now have to slink back to his lair at the Cricket Association of Bengal, where last year he had himself anointed 'President for Life' if you please!, lick his wounds and plot the downfall of his opponents.

For make no mistake, drunk on power he will not rest till he manages to sneak his way back into the Board through hook or by crook.

Let us not forget however that in the early 1990s he teamed up with the formidable Inder Singh Bindra to change the face of first Indian and then world cricket.

That they parted ways after Dalmiya ditched his old friend and grabbed the office of the President of the International Cricket Council in 1996 meant that for the last ten years their blood feud brought only detriment to Indian cricket.

While it is true that Dalmiya brought untold wealth into Indian and world cricket, he also created enemies around the world with his acerbic and undiplomatic ways.

Also, the huge sums of money only really filtered into the pockets of the top cricketers. Below the cream of the crop, Indian cricket remains in a shambles. The fact that the BCCI has reportedly stashed away Rs. 300 crores in fixed deposits begs the question - for whose benefit?

The Pawar group has promised to open these funds and spend them on infrastructure which is indeed a crying need.

To watch an international match in India, apart from Bindra's own backyard in Mohali, is an ordeal that only the most hardened of fans are willing to endure time and again. Everything from seating, toilets, water and food are considered luxuries that only the VIPs are given access to.

It is this group of cricket lovers which will be eternally grateful if Pawar and friends can bring about the winds of change in Indian cricket. More power to them.

 
More Views by Gulu Ezekiel
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