Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday paid tribute to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya , terming him as someone who put the game of cricket above everything else.
The legendary opener, who shared a cordial relation with Dalmiya, said that he will miss his smiling persona. "I will miss his ready laugh. May his soul rest in peace," Gavaskar said in his tribute.
Terming him 'a giant of international cricket', Gavaskar said, "Jagmohan Dalmiya was one of those administrators for whom the game of cricket was above everything else. It was under his stewardship that the BCCI and ICC became the financial powerhouses they have become today.
"He, along with Mr. IS Bindra, recognised the potential of Indian cricket and the way the electronic media could play a role in furthering and developing the sport. It was under Mr. Dalmiya's leadership that the ICC who then had only a few thousand dollars in their kitty went on to have the millions today which are disbursed to the rest of the cricketing world. His statesmanship also helped ease many a prickly situation in international cricket and Indian cricket in particular," Gavaskar added.
Meanwhile, former ICC chief Sharad Pawar also condoled the death of Dalmiya , crediting him for breaking the monopoly of first world countries on the game's world governing body.
Having been a long-time rival to Dalmiya in many a BCCI battle, Pawar took to social networking platform Twitter to express his grief at the BCCI chief's demise.
"I am deeply saddened to know about the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya. He will always be remembered as the first person from a third world country to hold the office of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which is the highest governing body of world cricket," Pawar tweeted.
74-year-old Pawar also praised Dalmiya for making the Indian board the most powerful body in world cricket. "He made BCCI a powerful and influential cricket body in the field of sports. May his soul rest in eternal peace," Pawar wrote on his Twitter handle.