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'I don't expect loyalty from Sourav'

Denying any involvement in leaking Chappell's controversial e-mail last September, Dalmiya dismissed Sourav Ganguly's allegations.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2006 13:26 IST

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) presidential candidate Jagmohan Dalmiya on Friday sarcastically dismissed Sourav Ganguly's e-mail that leveled serious charges against his group saying that he did not expect loyalty as he was no more the BCCI chief.

"I am no longer in BCCI. I have nothing to give. So, I do not expect loyalty from him," Dalmiya told newspersons shortly after Ganguly's e-mail was made public by CAB dissidents.

Dalmiya, however, refused to give a detailed reaction saying, "the e-mail has not been addressed to me, it is for the CAB to react."

Denying any involvement in leaking Indian coach Greg Chappell's controversial e-mail last September, Jagmohan Dalmiya on Friday sarcastically dismissed former national skipper Sourav Ganguly's charges against his group saying he did not expect loyalty as he was no more the BCCI chief.

"I am no longer in BCCI. I have nothing to give. So, I do not expect loyalty from him," Dalmiya told newspersons shortly after Ganguly's e-mail was made public by CAB dissidents.

Responding to persistent queries from newspersons on Chappell's e-mail, Dalmiya said that the Australian himself had said that he could not send the mail to him.

"Yes, I was one of the intended recipients. But in the meeting of the high-powered committee held in Mumbai after the controversy erupted, Chappell himself stated that he could not send it to me," Dalmiya said.

The six-member committee comprised Dalmiya, the then BCCI chief R S Mahendra, secretary S K Nair, and three former India captains -- Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and S Venkatraghavan.

Asked whether he agreed with Ganguly that the e-mail was leaked to damage his career, Dalmiya said, "The e-mail does not concern me. You put the question to those quarters who leaked it."

"This question can be best answered by the affected and those who made him affected," he said at a hurriedly convened media meet at the Eden Gardens that houses the CAB headquarters.

On Ganguly's allegation that there were people in the CAB who played with a player's career, Dalmiya said, "Let somebody write to the Association. CAB is a body and not an individual."

When it was pointed out that he held the most responsible post in the CAB, Dalmiya replied, "I don't know who is writing to whom."

Asked whether he felt hurt by such allegations from his one-time protégé, the seasoned administrator said, "I've got no answers. You are saying that he was my protégé. So, you go and ask him (why he has leveled such charges)."

Dalmiya had earlier pretended to be startled when a scribe handed over Ganguly's mail to him. "Again an e-mail! My God, we are yet to get over the last mail (sent by Chappell). Let everybody see that you are leaking it, and not me."

Highly-placed sources in the CAB, however, expressed doubt whether the mail had been drafted by Ganguly himself.

"Look at the errors in the missive. Ganguly's English is infinitely better than this," the sources said.

On his decision to seek re-election for the CAB president's slot despite West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhatacharjee publicly saying that he should stay away, Dalmiya replied that he decided to enter the fray as discussions with Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty, who conveyed Bhattacharjee's stand to him, did not make much headway.

"Yes, we had discussions. But the matters remained half-way as we couldn't give satisfactory reply to each other."

However, sources close to Dalmiya said that the CAB chief had suggested some alternative names for the CAB president's post.

The names that were discussed included that of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former state chief minister SS Ray, ex-BCCI chief BN Dutt and Chakraborty himself. But the two sides could not zero in on any particular name.

Dalmiya had also raised the question of the future of his faction and the working committee members if he opted out of the race.

Dalmiya said he decided to file his nomination a day ahead of the deadline due to pressure from his colleagues in the CAB.

"We had lot of discussions among ourselves. The members wanted me to contest. And when your are working in a group, you have to do give in whether your like it or not."

Earlier, addressing a media conference, Kolkata Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, who is contesting against Dalmiya for the president's post, said that he agreed with Ganguly's e-mail that 'some people' in the CAB tried to ruin his career.

"Ganguly had been dropped for non-cricketing reasons. We feel that the CAB should have protested more strongly against his axing. In our battle to improve things in the CAB, Sourav is with us. We are also with him," he said.

He said that his group favoured appointment of neutral observers to conduct the election in a 'transparent manner'.

The police chief said that now there was no transparency in the functioning of CAB, and power was concentrated in the hands of a 'couple of officials who are all-in-all in the decision-making process'.