KOLKATA: Having got the backing of both the N.Srinivasan and Sharad Pawar factions of the BCCI, the newly-elected cricket board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Monday night that those who had once expelled him were now cheering for him.
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"Those who had once expelled me (from the cricket board) are now cheering for me," a sarcastic Dalmiya told mediapersons at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here on his return from Chennai where he was elected unopposed to the key post.
In 2005, Dalmiya's nominee Ranbir Singh Mahendra was defeated by Sharad Pawar in the presidential election of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Pawar group, which included Shashank Manohar, A.C. Mutthiah, and Srinivasan, won all the other posts, embarrassing Dalmiya no end.
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.
The resolution, passed at a Special General Meeting (SGM) in Jaipur, saw 29 members voting for Dalmiya's removal, with only his own association CAB opposing the move. Even an arrest warrant was issued against him.
However, the court exonerated him in 2007, and Dalmiya bid his time and has now made a comeback at the head of the BCCI.
Asked whether the presence of Anurag Thakur as secretary, who was supported by the Pawar camp, could be a spoiler, Dalmiya replied in the negative.
"It shouldn't be a problem. We can work in tandem for the betterment of Indian cricket," said Dalmiya.
The former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief said he was "fighting fit to work for the game" despite being all of 74 years of age.