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In Memory of Jagmohan Dalmiya : Obituary

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Kolkata: At the height of his career, it used to be said that Jagmohan Dalmiya could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. Such was the marketing genius of the man, who brought money to Indian cricket and replicated the success when he became the first Asian to head the game’s global body.

Seasoned cricket administrator Dalmiya, 75, who died on Sunday, was also known for his resilience, with even his detractors acknowledging that he had it in him to swim back to the shore if thrown deep into the sea, or could rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes.

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The septuagenarian’s almost unbelievable comeback earlier this year as the head of the country’s premier cricket body BCCI, which had once ignominiously thrown him out, only reinforced the notion.

Born in a business family in 1940, Dalmiya was a club-level cricketer. He kept wickets for two teams – Jorabagan and Rajasthan – in the (then) Calcutta cricket league, and switched to cricket administration after hanging up his gloves.

Mentored by then BCCI mandarin Biswanath Dutt, Dalmiya cut his teeth in Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) politics, one of the most chequered and marathon innings in India’s sports administration.

Dalmiya became BCCI treasurer in 1983 – the year India won the World Cup. The wily businessman didn’t take much time to understand that huge money could be brought to the game from telecast rights, and teamed up with his then friend and later big foe I.S. Bindra to bring the cricket World Cup out of the British soil for the first time in 1987, as India and Pakistan co-hosted the hugely successful Reliance Cup.

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cricketcountry.com

Later, he served as BCCI secretary, before becoming ICC chief for three years in 1997.

As the top man of the global body, he brought money to it too. The ICC, which had a paltry sum in its coffers when he took over, was flush with funds when Dalmiya’s stint ended in 2000.

Dalmiya was elected BCCI president in 2001. He was all-in-all in the board till his tenure ended in 2004.

Later that year, Dalmiya hoisted his acolyte Ranbir Singh Mahendra as his successor in a tantalizingly close election where then union minister Sharad Pawar threw his hat into the ring for the top post.

As the election ended in a tie, Dalmiya gave his casting vote to ensure Mahendra’s victory, prompting a dejected Pawar to remark that the entire process was unfair.

“The umpire was the bowler,” Pawar had quipped after his loss.

Dalmiya then controlled the board by proxy for a year, with Mahendra being a mere puppet.

But the Pawar camp fought back by using all means to checkmate Dalmiya at his own game in the 2005 election.

Months later, the BCCI lodged a police complaint against Dalmiya for alleged misappropriation of funds related to the 1996 World Cup in which India was a co-host.

As Dalmiya faced a police probe, the BCCI expelled him in December 2006, which also forced him to step down as CAB president, months after a nerve-wracking election which he had won by defeating then West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s nominee, city Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee.

In mid-2007, Dalmiya was exonerated by the court, and he returned to head the CAB in 2008, by defeating then president Mukherjee.

However, in the next few years, he seemed only a shadow of his former self. He looked old, and his lack of full fitness was talked about in CAB circles.

But the wily cricket administrator bid his time, and pulled off the first surprise when sidelined president N. Srinivasan pitchforked him to the post of BCCI interim chief in June 2013 after the spot-fixing scam emerged.

The short term as head of the board brought him back to centrestage, with also displaying his wide acceptability in the board.

Dalmiya again played his cards well after the Supreme Court ran out Srinivasan from the race.

Keeping both the lobbies headed by Srinivasan and Pawar guessing his next moves, Dalmiya deftly exploited the hostility between the two to put himself up as an acceptable candidate and ultimately won the seat unopposed.

(IANS)

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5 Exciting Players Who Might Win the Purple Cap in IPL 2020

Know about these top 5 IPL cricket players who have chances of winning the purple cap

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IPL purple cap
With the popularity of the Indian Premier League, awards like the Orange and Purple Cap have also become some of the most prestigious awards in Cricket. Wikimedia Commons

With the surge in popularity of the Indian Premier League, awards like the Orange and Purple Cap have also become some of the most prestigious awards in Cricket. The Purple Cap is awarded to the leading wicket-taker bowler of the season. So far, some of the most famous names in the Cricket World have won this cap – Lasith Malinga, Morne Morkel, Dwayne Bravo (2) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2) and many more. Who will join the list of such elite players this season and finish IPL 13 as the highest wicket-taker? Let us find out five such players who can win Purple Cap in IPL 2020:

PS: Household names like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar are not part of the list due to fitness concerns.

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan has become synonymous with success in the shortest format of the game. The Afghan bowler is currently ranked first in ICC’s T20 bowlers’ rankings and has excelled in every league he has played. In the recently concluded BBL season, Rashid picked up 19 wickets playing for Adelaide Strikers. 

And the leggie is more than likely to continue his great run of form with SRH in 2020. Last season Rashid picked up 17 wickets in IPL and he is a leading candidate to do even better this season and win the Purple Cap. Rashid is used to Indian pitches by now and Kane Williamson knows just how to use his lethal weapon in crucial stages of the game. 

IPL purple cap
The Purple Cap is awarded to the leading wicket-taker bowler of the season. Pixabay

Jasprit Bumrah

When it comes to having a good day for Mumbai Indians, a lot depends on their premium strike bowler – Jasprit Bumrah. The pacer is one of the best death bowlers in the world at the moment and when he gets his toe-crushing Yorkers right, there is not a lot a batsman can do about it. 

Bumrah was Mumbai’s most successful bowler last season with 19 wickets as he helped the team to the title. The 26-year old’s ability to pick up wickets in both powerplay and death overs has been crucial for 4-times IPL Champions. But IPL 2020 will be a huge challenge for the pacer as he has failed to return to his best in the recently concluded Australia and New Zealand series. Although, with Rohit’s captainship and Malinga’s support, it shouldn’t take Boom Boom Bumrah a lot of time to get back in the groove. 

Kagiso Rabada

Just like Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada has made a name for himself with success for his national side. The South African has every weapon in his arsenal which a pace bowler might need. Last season, Rabada led Delhi Capitals’ bowling attack and finished with 25 wickets – just one behind Purple Cap winner Imrah Tahir. So, the youngster will be itching to do one better this season and get his hands on the prize. 

Rabada has picked up 31 wickets in just 18 IPL matches he has played in his career – an impressive statistic to say the least. And although his economy rate is 8+, the South African averages just 17.94. With exceptional stats to back him, Rabada will be eager to lead Delhi’s bowling attack once again. 

IPL purple cap
Last year’s Purple Cap winner Imran Tahir has retired from international cricket after South Africa’s horrible performance at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Wikimedia Commons

Imran Tahir

Last year’s Purple Cap winner Imran Tahir has retired from international cricket after South Africa’s horrible performance at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. But when it comes to bowling in IPL, Tahir, just like Rashid Khan, enjoys bowling on Indian pitches and has been very successful through the years. 

Tahir has picked up 79 wickets in just 55 IPL games and at the age of 40, has continued to age like a fine wine. The leggie is still one of the most dangerous bowlers at MS Dhoni’s disposal at CSK. And in their Den at the Chidambaram Stadium, Tahir can create havoc and go for a lap of honour after every wicket.  

Pat Cummins

Not a lot of 14-15 crore buys have worked for IPL teams in the past. But Pat Cummins bought for ₹15.5 crores by KKR in the recent auction, is not like most others. The Aussie is arguably the best bowler in the world right now and has been in tremendous form in the last 12 months. 

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Cummins will be leading KKR’s bowling attack as KKR hardly boasts another big name in the bowling department. The 26-year old has picked up 17 wickets in 16 IPL games so far but a lot has changed since then. Cummins has become the most complete bowler since his last IPL game a few years ago. The right-arm fast bowler will face a challenge of bowling on Indian pitches though, where he will have to prove his worth.