22 सित॰ 2015

The world cricket wouldn't have been so successful without Jagmohan Dalmiya

Today hundreds of crore are spent by the electronic media to buy the broadcast rights of a cricket match. Scenario wasn't the same until 1993. India had won a world cup in 1983 by then and Cricket gained a lot of popularity across India, rural and urban included. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) still paid a heavy sum for the broadcast of every single match to Prasar Bharti i.e. DD. While Jagmohan Dalmiya watched DD make a lot of money from the board as well as advertisements, it was he, who decided to bid the broadcast rights to private electronic channels - the decision that made BCCI the richest cricket board of the world. DD eventually started broadcasting cricket matches for men in blue free of cost.   
Jagmohan Dalmiya, the then treasurer of BCCI made impact not only in Indian cricket but he influenced the world cricket. He was the one who argued against England that solely hosted World Cup tournaments till 1983. This created a platform for debate resulting into the roational policy for hosting world cricket tournament. In 1987, for the first time, World Cup was organised outside England. This, many believe, was the result of Dalmiya's vision and his continuous penetration to ICC. He is also known for creating pressure on ICC to bring South Africa back into International Cricket. 
An ordinary cricketer in a Kolkata club, Jagmohan Dalmiya had little fame as a cricketer, but his vision and administration brought him to the zenith. He has been the only Indian cricket administrator who first became ICC chief (in 1997) before becoming the BCCI president in 2001. 
When he took the chair as ICC chief, the cricket governing body had only 16000 pound (INR 16 lakh) that he went on to capitalise into 16 million pound (INR 160 crore).
For BCCI, at one point, success lied in averting defeat. It went on to become not only one of the best teams but also the most powerful cricket board. And the credit for this transformation goes to Jagmohan Dalmiya. 
Today BCCI is blamed for its 'monopoly' but these questions never emerged when England and Australia ruled cricket and made rules for ICC that every affiliate country followed. Formed in 1909, ICC was run by the two countries the way they wanted. After 84 years, in 1993 Jagmohan Dalmiya created a debate that was well received by other members and resulted into the end of veto powers, the two countries enjoyed. 
ICC can't stop BCCI from getting what it wants the same way United Nation fails to impose anything on USA. The biggest example of this was the suspension of Steve Buckner from an ongoing tournament for giving Sachin Tendulkar out. Another example was monkey gate controversy involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds in which Singh hardly got any punishment. BCCI also became a major obstacle in implementing umpire review system. 
The power that BCCI currently enjoys comes from the vision that Jagmohan Dalmiya had seen and set. 
If you remember how Australia begged BCCI when the Indian cricket board threatened to walk out of that 2007-2008 Border-Gavaskar trophy tournament, you can sense its power. 
There is nothing wrong in admitting that BCCI takes undue advantage of its power and does what it wants, but this monopoly, irrespective of whether it's wrong or right, is well earned.
Afterall it funds ICC more than any other country including England that formed this game. And it was really a shame that Jagmohan Dalmiya, who made BCCI what it is today, was later implicated for financial irregularities.
It must be satisfying for the cricket lovers that he was found not-guilty of any allegation before he departed. May he rest in peace. The world cricket will remain indebted for what he did.

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