Indian cricket board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, credited with turning India into the game’s financial superpower, died here on Sunday, three days after he was hospitalised following a heart attack. He was 75.
The veteran sports administrator and businessman died of “massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage” at 8.45pm, said Dr Anil Mishra, who was treating the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief. Dalmiya is survived by wife Chadralekha, son Avishek and daughter Vaishali.
With no succession plan in place, the BCCI could be looking at a power struggle. Secretary Anurag Thakur and ICC chairman N Srinivasan, who was replaced by Dalmiya, would try to push their men for Indian cricket’s top job.
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Dalmiya, who was admitted to BM Birla Hospital on Thursday evening after complaining of uneasiness, was responding to the treatment but became unstable in the morning. “Our medical board decided to conduct an angioplasty late afternoon. He was stabilised but after that there was a massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage which led to a lot of bleeding in the stomach,” said Dr Mishra.
He confirmed that two stents were implanted in Dalmiya’s heart.
Though unwell, Dalmiya returned as BCCI president for a third term in March after 10 years. The first Indian to head the game’s world body, he was the International Cricket Council president from 1997 to 2000.
Dalmiya along with IS Bindra transformed the face of cricket in India and set the wheels in motion for the BCCI to become a financial powerhouse. That happened when the BCCI won the battle of the airwaves, opening the possibility of cricket being telecast by channels other than Doordarshan.
The two were instrumental in getting the 1987 World Cup to India. Soon after the bid was won, Dalmiya is known to have famously remarked how with this kind of intelligence the British ruled India for nearly 200 years.
And when he took charge of the ICC, cricket’s world body reportedly had only 18,000 pounds in its coffers. Dalmiya transformed it into a cash-rich organisation by starting the ICC Champions Trophy in 1998.