Jagmohan Dalmiya, who played an important role in changing the face of Indian cricket, took his last breath at the BM Birla Hospital in Kolkata on Sunday. The cricket administrator, 75, died of "internal gastrointestinal bleeding and internal organ failure."
People from the world over condoled the death on one of the greatest cricket administrators, who pumped in money from several quarters.
The credit for BCCI currently being the richest cricket board in the world goes to the man affectionately referred to as "Jaggu da", with Dalmiya shifting the money and power of world cricket from England/Australia to India.
Dalmiya was born to a Marwari family, which had its roots attached to business. Dalmiya, who started his career as a wicket-keeper in club level, joined his father's business initially, but soon decided to join the BCCI in 1979 and within four years of joining the cricket board, he was appointed as the treasurer.
IS Bindra was a big name in the cricket body then. Along with Bindra, Dalmiya played an important role in bringing and staging the World Cup in the sub continent in 1987. The previous three editions of the World Cup (1975, 1979 and 1983) were all held in England, which was the powerhouse of world cricket then.
In 1992, Dalmiya was appointed the secretary of the BCCI, and the astute businessman took matters into his own hands, bringing in huge revenue to the BCCI. Doordarshan had the sole rights to broadcast India's matches then and the BCCI had to pay a sum of around Rs 5 lakhs per game.
Dalmiya challenged Doordarshan and sold the TV rights to TransWorld International for Rs 18 lakhs, in a landmark deal for Indian cricket. Hence DD were forced to buy TV rights, which brought in huge profits for the BCCI. This was just the beginning of BCCI's glorious era as they made huge moolah from the 1996 World Cup, which was hosted in the sub continent as well.
The tournament sponsor, which was a cigarette brand -- Wills -- had to cough up $12 million to be a part of the mega competition as a major sponsor. Gradually, Dalmiya was becoming a major force in world cricket and he took full advantage of the situation as he was unanimously elected for the post of ICC president for the term betwen 1997-2000.
The ICC were also blessed to have such a business-minded administrator at the top, as the cricket body also benefited from his acumen, making more money. Apart from focusing on money alone, Dalmiya also wanted to create a global appeal, but then, it could only be achieved if the ICC had more funds with them.
Not only did Dalmiya help BCCI earn mega bucks, he did the same with the ICC, where he changed its functioning to make it more profit-driven.
It was only when Dalmiya took over the reins of the ICC that the cricket body also understood their revenue making potential as TV rights for the 1999 World Cup were sold for $16 million. However, due to differences within the ICC, Dalmiya offered his resignation in 1999 and joined the Cricket Association of Bengal.
However in 2001, he became the president of BCCI, defeating AC Muttiah for the coveted post. During his tenure as the president, as usual, Dalmiya's prime focus was always to churn out more money for the benefit of Indian cricket.
But his stint will be remembered for the way he won the battle to prevent Mike Deness from staying as the match referee in the final match of the India-South Africa series in 2001, as the former England captain had suspended Sachin Tendulkar for allegedly ball tampering.
This 'Mike Deness incident' just established how dominant the BCCI and Dalmiya had become in world cricket.
Dalmiya's tenure as BCCI president came to an end in 2004. Ranbir Mahendra, who was involved in a huge contest with Sharad Pawar, became the next president with Dalmiya casting his deciding vote in favour of Ranbir.
This opened a bitter rivalry between Dalmiya and Pawar, who overthrew "Jaggu da" from the BCCI in 2006 for mishandling of funds, after defeating Ranbir the next year. The BCCI withdrew Dalmiya's expulsion in 2008 and he made a comeback in 2013 as the interim BCCI president, owing to the problems in the tenure under N Srinivasan, before becoming a permanent fixture.
After taking over the role of BCCI president in March 2015, Dalmiya could not be actively involved in the working of the BCCI, due to health reasons, but he will be remembered overall for generating massive wealth for the BCCI and helping the board become the premier power in world cricket.