Is it the end Sourav Ganguly's career?
With Dalmiya retaining the CAB, speculation is rife that it could be final nail in Ganguly's 'coffin'. Video: Dalmiya retains CAB | Back for Champions Trophy?india Updated: Aug 02, 2006 11:11 IST
With Jagmohan Dalmiya retaining the top post of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), speculation is rife that he would now fight his rivals with renewed vigour while it could also signal an end to Sourav Ganguly's career.
Dalmiya's first aim would be to beat his rivals in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) who are charging him of misappropriation of the 1996 World Cup funds, and then build on from there.
Dalmiya had been summoned for a meeting with the BCCI's disciplinary committee, but the board deferred it to enable him fight the CAB elections.
Now, a stronger Dalmiya will face BCCI president Sharad Pawar, who also heads the disciplinary committee.
If Dalmiya's victory margin was not much - he beat Kolkata Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee 61-56 in the polls held Sunday - it was partially because Ganguly was backing his rival group.
Ganguly feels his ouster from the national team has partially got to do with Dalmiya's strained relations with the current regime.
The former India captain sent an e-mail message from England a few days before Sunday's election, indirectly blaming Dalmiya for the situation he is in and strongly advocating that those who play with the careers of players should be thrown out of the CAB.
This e-mail could become the basis of the final nail in Ganguly's coffin - his international career that he is desperate to revive.
Dalmiya never forgets his enemies, and Ganguly is the latest to join that list. Although he avoided making harsh comments on Ganguly onMonday by merely calling him a bachcha (child), it does not necessarily mean that the ace administrator has forgiven him for raising the banner of revolt against him.
Experts feel that whatever hopes Ganguly might have been nurturing of staging a comeback to the national side have evaporated with Dalmiya's win as he would no longer support him.
Ganguly's other handicap is that the east zone representative in the national selection panel, Ranjib Biswal, is relatively new and he might not be very effective in the meetings. A hint will be available when the Champions Trophy probables are named August 9.
Dalmiya, on the other hand, has a bigger battle to fight - to wriggle out of the accusation of misappropriation of Rs.15.2 million of the 1996 World Cup money.
While Dalmiya has got the 'platform' he was seeking to fight this case, his win would have disappointed the current BCCI regime that seems out to avenge Pawar's loss in the BCCI election in 2004 by penalising him through the 'misappropriation issue'.
Ranbir Singh Mahendra, backed by then BCCI president Dalmiya, had defeated Pawar by the incumbent's casting vote. Pawar struck back by defeating Mahendra 21-10 in November last.
There are a few people in Pawar's BCCI team who feel they had been wronged when Dalmiya was the board president.
Inderjit Singh Bindra, a former BCCI president, current Punjab cricket chief and a former Dalmiya friend, can't forget the two-year suspension Dalmiya as board president handed him a few years ago for speaking on match-fixing.
Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president Lalit Modi, also a BCCI vice-president and marketing panel head, is also much peeved with Dalmiya. Modi has a longstanding grudge against Dalmiya for backing his rivals, the Rungtas for years.
Now, Dalmiya's rivals will be keen that the disciplinary committee cripples him and bars him completely from the BCCI affairs for a period that is long enough to not to allow him to rise like a phoenix.
Before Dalmiya is called to appear before Pawar, and BCCI vice-presidents Chirayu Amin and Shashank Manohar, there could well be another round of court cases - an area that Dalmiya masters.
But this time he also seems to be fighting against a man who is an important part of the ruling coalition.