New Delhi: Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi on Monday paid tribute to late BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, saying the visionary administrator was a "worthy opponent".
"Mr Dalmiya was a visionary, a very worthy opponent. My thoughts are with his family. Indian cricket will remember his contribution forever!," tweeted Modi, who has been living in the UK since the BCCI charged him for money launderings during his term as IPL chairman.
Mr Dalmiya was a visionary, a very worthy opponent. My thoughts are with his family. Indian cricket will remember his contribution forever!— Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) September 21, 2015
Dalmiya had vision. Was a worthy opponent. My thoughts are with his family. Indian cricket will remember his contribution forever.— Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) September 21, 2015
Dalmiya, who passed away after a cardiac arrest in a hospital in Kolkata at the age of 75 last night, was cremated with full state honours. He not only revolutionised the game in the Indian sub-continent but also shifted the powerhouse of cricket from the corridors of MCC to India.
Credited for making BCCI as the wealthiest board in world cricket, Dalmiya, who also served the ICC as its president for one term, was known for his visionary ideas and marketing genius.
Recalling one of his many meetings with Dalmiya, former Australian captain Ian Chappell paid a rich tribute to the late BCCI president, saying he was a "rarity among administrators and that history should judge him kindly."
"To me Jaggu was a rarity amongst administrators because he genuinely wanted to listen to the opinions of former players. I felt he also wanted to have former players involved in the real, hard, decision-making process of administration," Chappell was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"I think he was an Indian administrator who stood firm at a time when the English and Australian administrators were used to getting their own way. And I think that's why he copped a lot of criticism from those two areas because he wasn't one who just bowed down and rolled over.”
"I think if Jaggu had stayed on a bit longer as ICC president, I'm sure today there would be a World Test Championship," the cricketer-turned-analyst opined.
Chappell believes that history should judge Dalmiya very kindly. "I think history should judge Jaggu very kindly. I think he did a hell of a lot for the game. Not just the financial side, he cared about the game. He had some very good ideas. He was also very keen on having ex-players, who were mentors, getting (them as) a group together to promote cricket in many different parts of the world.”
"And once Jaggu moved on from the presidency, those ideas just seemed to disappear. I hope that he's remembered for a lot of that work," he said.
Chappell fondly remembered his first meeting with Dalmiya, when the powerful administrator advised the Australian to take a round of Salt Lake Stadium in a motorcade.
"I'll never forget the first time I met Jaggu. We were in Calcutta in the lead-up to the 1996 World Cup. I was there as an ex-captain, we did a thing inside Salt Lake Stadium and he said we've got a motorcade going back. I asked him if it'll be worth doing it and he said 'Ian, it'll be one of the great experiences of your life'.”
"I went on that motorcade and I had never seen so many people in my life. And so many happy people, throwing flower petals, waving, smiling," recalled Chappell....