NEW DELHI: The death of Indian cricket supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya was set to trigger a new leadership battle in the game’s global powerhouse, with experts Monday predicting vicious infighting between rival factions.
Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), died Sunday at a hospital in Kolkata where he was being treated for a heart condition, with no designated successor.
The 75-year-old was widely hailed Monday as the man who transformed India into the most powerful nation in international cricket by presiding over a massive increase in TV revenues.
Observers also warned his death could signal fresh turmoil at the top of the board, with Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the controversial head of the International Cricket Council (ICC), tipped to try and wrest back power.
The death of Dalmiya came only months after his own return to the helm of the BCCI as a consensus candidate following Srinivasan’s effective toppling in a corruption scandal.
With Dalmiya’s funeral due to take place in Kolkata later Monday, BCCI officials have refused to be drawn publicly on the succession.
But veteran cricket commentator Ayaz Memon said Dalmiya was the only person who had been able “to keep a semblance of decorum intact” between rival factions.
“The power struggle will be there between the two powerful factions. The only thing is it will be subterranean rather than out in the open,” Memon told AFP.
The Hindustan Times said supporters of both Srinivasan and his rival Anurag Thakur, who is BCCI secretary and the bo