A single death, while closing a glorious chapter, can also spark the beginning of conflicts and hostilities. In Jagmohan Dalmiya’s case, it might already have activated a war of succession! Those entertaining the thoughts of taking Dalmiya’s place as BCCI president kept their thoughts to themselves, but their expressions, at times, betrayed their true sentiments while paying homage to the departed.
Although the circumstance was gloomy and hardly fit for politics, the BCCI mandarins did test the water. It is never too early for bravado in a faction-riddled body like the BCCI, where loyalties are never taken for granted.
At the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, almost all the bigwigs of the Indian cricket made time to pay their last respects to the Indian cricket’s legendary administrator. Their faces were grim and solemn. Those who couldn’t make it, conveyed their sense of loss through social media platforms. It was the best they could do. Life goes on, so Team India’s director, Ravi Shastri, former BCCI vice-president and finance minister, Arun Jaitley, and a few more top names, offered their condolences through public message, from afar.
Countless honours have been bestowed upon Jagmohan Dalmiya, various ground-breaking initiatives have been attributed to him. Without doubt, cricket has lost one of its most loyal, committed servants. Anyone who knew Dalmiya knows the void can never be filled, we are all mourning the loss of cricket’s greatest visionaries!
But in doing that, in remembering the titan, disturbing frequencies are interfering with the sombre moment.
The dust and bones of Jagmohan Dalmiya still roasts, but the prospective candidates for the top job are already hobnobbing. Frontrunners are IPL chief and Congress MP Rajiv Shukla, former BCCI presidents Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar and N Srinivasan, although it is rumoured that Srinivasan will play kingmaker, and not dream of reclaiming the hot seat, now that his stature has been reduced to a non-entity because of corruption charges against him..
Rajiv Shukla must be smacking his lips as he has emerged as the leading candidate. Shukla could find support from the Srinivasan camp which doesn’t have the appropriate candidate to field for BCCI’s top post.
The best man will not necessarily win, but whoever does, will inherit a deeply fractured body, with multiple camps covertly operating to maintain one-upmanship. There is distrust and paranoia, causing battle within battles in BCCI.
On the outside, it appears robust and dynamic, but it is not so healthy on the inside.