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Dalmiya returns to top job in Indian cricket

Jagmohan Dalmiya has been elected as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more than a decade after he last ran the organisation.

The 74-year-old, who was BCCI president previously between 2001 and 2004 having been International Cricket Council (ICC) president from 1997 to 2000, was elected unopposed today (Monday) at the governing body’s 85th Annual General Meeting.

Dalmiya was identified as a consensus candidate of the two rival factions widely thought to be vying for control of Indian cricket – incumbent and current ICC chairman N Srinivasan and another former BCCI president Sharad Pawar.

Among the other appointments made, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association chief Anurag Thakur was elected to the powerful position of BCCI secretary, serving under Dalmiya.

A Supreme Court ruling prevented Srinivasan from standing for re-election following its investigation into corruption in the Indian Premier League, with the ICC chairman deemed to have a conflict of interest through his ownership of IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings.

However, the AFP news agency reported that Srinivasan’s power base mobilised behind Dalmiya to thwart Pawar’s ambitions of returning to a role he held between 2005 and 2008. Zee News said that Pawar loyalists also gave their backing to Dalmiya, who stepped in to temporarily run the BCCI in 2013 when the IPL scandal forced Srinivasan to step aside.

Dalmiya first came to prominence as a cricket administrator when, along with Inderjit Singh Bindra, he masterminded India’s successful pitch to host the 1987 World Cup – the first time the national team cricket tournament was staged outside of England.

He helped to secure another Indian World Cup in 2011 during his stints with the ICC and the BCCI around the turn of the century, before being replaced at the latter organisation by associate Ranbir Singh Mahendra. A year later in 2005, Pawar overcame Mahendra in an election that saw Dalmiya marginalised.

Pawar then had his rival expelled from the BCCI for alleged misappropriation of funds relating to the 1987 World Cup bid, with Dalmiya cleared of all charges in 2007 before returning as Cricket Association of Bengal president – a position he still holds.