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BCCI accuses Jaggu of bungling, fraud

After a brief lull, the Indian cricket board is back to playing the game it knows best, reports Varun Gupta.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 01:00 IST
Varun Gupta
Varun Gupta

After a brief lull, the Indian cricket board on Tuesday was back to playing the game it knows best: snakes and ladders.

The Sharad Pawar-led BCCI on Tuesday accused former board president Jagmohan Dalmiya of swindling “crores of rupees” of board money.

Dalmiya denied the charge and sought seven days to prove his innocence. He also questioned why
the board members had to make public the allegation.

The accusation came on the sidelines of the BCCI’s emergency working committee meeting. Board vice-president and marketing committee member Lalit Modi told reporters that Dalmiya had bungled funds related to the 1996 World Cup and TV rights.

He alleged that Dalmiya shut the bank account of PILCOM — the panel formed during the 1996 World Cup — on February 4 without authorisation and transferred the funds to the account of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). Currently, Dalmiya is the president of CAB.

“There has been pilferage of money. Prima facie this is misappropriation of funds and a blatant fraud,” Modi alleged. “This is the first time Dalmiya has been put under the scanner as he’s been ruling the roost in BCCI for quite a while….”

Claiming that the case was one of fraud and needed a criminal investigation, Modi alleged that $4 million pertaining to a TV rights deal was also “missing”.

He said the working committee gave board president Sharad Pawar the authority to decide on the matter and seek Dalmiya’s explanation.

At a press conference held later, BCCI treasurer N Srinivasan said Dalmiya evaded direct answers when he was charged at the working committee meeting. Unlike Modi’s, his allegation was toned down: “there was some impropriety in the way funds were handled.”

He also refused to give the amount. “Quantum is inconsequential but probity is imperative,” Srinivasan said.

Dalmiya termed the allegations “absolutely baseless” and said he was ready to furnish all details. “They are making absolutely baseless allegations in the media and if they have any query they should ask me. I am ready to provide all details, but why this public accusation?” Dalmiya was quoted by the PTI as saying.

The BCCI had long been Dalmiya’s fiefdom but after Sharad Pawar took over the reigns last November, the new administration seems a little too eager to make a point.

Watch this space.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 18:29 IST