SPORT

Dalmiya set to retain BCCI president post

KOLKATA SEPT. 26. Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya is set to retain the highest seat in country's cricket administration when the Board of Control for Cricket in India's annual general meeting, starting on Saturday, confirms him as the president for the third year in a row. This incidentally will be his last year in the office, going by the stipulations in the board's constitution.

Mr. S.K. Nair will be continuing as the secretary while Mr. Jyoti Bajpai, the present joint-secretary, moves into the post of the treasurer vacated by Mr. Kishore Rungta, who has completed his term.

The only hint of contest is apparent in the post of joint-secretary, which will have a new face. And the names that have been suggested for the slot are Dr. Ratnakar Shetty of Mumbai Cricket Association, Mr. Gautam Das Gupta of Cricket Association of Bengal and Mr. Brijesh Patel of Karnataka Cricket Association, among others. Mr. Patel, who is recuperating from a heart ailment in Bangalore, is likely to opt out of the contest.

The two-day AGM starting on the weekend will, however, be having a packed agenda with the issues like graded payments for players, the impasse over World Cup payments with ICC, affiliation of various new units, the issue of resuming cricketing ties with Pakistan, coming up for discussion. The eve of the AGM on Friday saw a video presentation from the communication and co-ordination committee highlighting the Board's achievement in the past year. This followed a deliberation from the president, who supported the projection as an effort towards involving the media in conveying the "transparency'' that is pre-eminent in BCCI's functioning.

While highlighting the achievement of the Indian team in the international arena and the changes wrought in the domestic front, Mr. Dalmiya laid out the "new vision for Indian cricket.''

BCCI's commitment to excellence has been manifested in the team's achievement in the past year as the team was given the best of infrastructure and support-staff to bring about the desired performance, he said.

He added that a "steady supply-line'' has been established and the "reserve-bench is now overflowing with talent'' which could be gauged from the selection of 36-players in the 22-day camp held at Bangalore recently, he said.

The president said the restructuring of the Ranji Trophy format has been one of the major aspects of the Board's quest for the betterment in the domestic front while the BCCI also achieved a distinction in having the junior-development programme running smoothly. Here he mentioned the National Cricket Academy, which will be "converted into a lab to produce class cricketers,'' thereby setting in tone the mood of the ensuing AGM. — Our Sports Reporter

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