“He always stuck to his stand and was not the one to change colours according to the power equation,” said former board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra.
Not the one to shy away from controversies, the Baroda man was known for being blunt in his views and was probably the only board secretary to have predicted a whitewash of the Indian team before the Australia tour of 1999.
He had also spoken out against Kapil Dev, when as the India team coach he included Ajit Agarkar in the camp without the Board’s permission.
“He was one man who always spoke straight; an authoritative administrator,” said Jagmohan Dalmiya, who shared a long partnership with Lele in the board. “He was very close to my heart and I am at a loss for words.”