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Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Ill assume mantle of BCCI president: Dalmiya

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2001, 0:00 [IST]
 
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[an error occurred while processing this directive]Kolkata: The election to the post of the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seemed headed for an intriguing finish with challenger Jagmohan Dalmiya on Thursday claiming he was comfortably placed to win. "I am confident and comfortable about the support of majority of members," Dalmiya said just before leaving for Chennai for the board's Annual General Meeting on September 29 and 30.Dalmiya's assertion came only a day after reports that as many as 18 of the 31 affiliate units had pledged support to incumbent president A C Muthiah for re-election at a dinner in New Delhi.Dalmiya, however, refused to give weightage to such assertions by the ruling camp, saying, "In a democracy, I have never heard that attendance at dinners reflect the vote bank. I am rather amused at such calculations and would not like to comment further."Refusing to be drawn into the numbers game, he said, "What is the point in creating a smokescreen? Why do we not leave it to the wisdom of BCCI members? They know best the policies, which are good for Indian cricket and which are not. I do not believe in flaunting numbers before an election."The former chief of International Cricket Council (ICC) said he was urged to contest the presidential election as he felt BCCI and cricket in the country were passing through a crisis."I have occupied the highest office in the (cricket) world. Undoubtedly the board president's post is prestigious and honourable, but I am not coming here for the sake of occupying a chair. I was approached by several players and administrators to volunteer my services," Dalmiya said.He said representatives of various affiliated units, who form the vote bank, were "quite mature" and would exercise their franchise in favour of the right policy."If the current policy, which has brought Indian cricket to the brink of collapse, is right, they will vote for them (Muthiah's faction). If they feel that the deterioration has to stop, they will vote against them," Dalmiya said.He said India's ranking among cricket playing nations had gone down in the last few years and the Board officials had not bothered to undertake any damage control exercise."It is intriguing why there has been such a considerable slump in India's ranking in world cricket. Despite the scientific methods that the present management has claimed to have introduced, six key cricketers of the team are suffering from injuries," he said.Claiming there was a lack of co-ordination among the top functionaries of the board, Dalmiya said, "There is hardly any interaction between the president and the secretary or the treasurer."Instead of controlling the damage by going deep into the problems that plague Indian cricket, BCCI bigwigs are hosting dinners to discuss how the secretary and treasurer could be stopped from attending the ensuing AGM," he said.Dalmiya said the deterioration was all the more shocking since the country had the services of international experts like coach John Wright and physio Andrew Leipus, besides consultants Geoff Marsh and Rodney Marsh."It is surprising that despite having the best expertise, Indian cricket has deteriorated in the last few years. Despite playing less cricket, the spate of injuries to even younger players shows that something is wrong somewhere," Dalmiya said."When the Indian team was supposed to devote itself fully to its preparation for the South Africa tour, coach Wright and trainer Leipus were away at their homes in New Zealand and South Africa. I do not blame them. The present think tank of BCCI should have been more sensible. Why should this happen to Indian cricket?" "There is absolutely no use for reform that leads to the decline of Indian cricket to the eighth position out of ten countries and may lead to further slump if the present policies are continued," Dalmiya added. PTI

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