The former ICC and BCCI president, who had never really been close to Srinivasan, has accepted this role to “clean up the BCCI”. But in his own backyard the reactions are poles apart.
For those who look upon this as a positive move are looking back to those years when Srinivasan and Co, led by Sharad Pawar, had ousted Dalmiya with criminal allegations against him.
Kept his word
Usha Nath Banerjee, who had been a legal counsel of the BCCI, said Dalmiya had then promised that he would clear his name and come back to the chair “even for a day”. And he kept his word. His supporters also iterate that his acumen as an administrator and crisis manager is unparalleled in Indian cricket.
Former national selector Pranab Roy said: “I am very happy that Dalmiya is back at the helm. It will be good for Bengal cricket also. And this is a time in the BCCI when you need someone strong enough to take tough decisions and he is capable of that.”
However, the detractors have labeled Dalmiya’s “appointment” as ridiculous and a reflection of greed among BCCI members. Former national selector, Raja Venkat, was scathing in his comment. “How can BCCI have two presidents? And how can Dalmiya now team up with the same people who had maligned him so badly. I can only say that he is greedy to take up such a role. If he really wants to clean up cricket, he should have waited till September and ran for the elections,” said Venkat.
A source close to Dalmiya said: “I am ashamed really. Can’t say why he agreed to this role. It is really beyond my imagination how can Srinivasan still be the president, even if he does not take an active part, while Dalmiya runs the real show. Is that really possible?” Biswarup Dey, who represented Cricket Association of Bengal in the meeting and is a Dalmiya loyalist, said: “The BCCI members wanted someone strong who can now take charge and all except IS Bindra wanted Dalmiya. He will have all the power to run the Board till the end of the probe.”
Dey disagreed that this ‘caretaker’ role was demeaning to the stature of Dalmiya or that the CAB supremo was now seen to be on Srinivasan’s side.