Kolkata: A pal of gloom descended on the sporting fraternity of West Bengal today as the news of West Bengal’s former chief minister and one of the past presidents of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s death reached.
A sportsman and a sports lover, Ray was the president of CAB from 1981 to 1986. He was also triple blue of Calcutta University representing the famous institution in cricket, tennis and football.
He was the captain of Presidency college football team and Kalighat cricket during his college days.
As a sports administrator Ray displayed rare acumen when he was president of CAB. Current CAB incumbent and former President of International Cricket Council, Jagmohan Dalmiya said, “I am shocked to learn Ray’s death.”
“His death is an irreparable loss to cricket. Whenever we sought help, he was readily available to extend a helping hand,” Dalmiya said.
Ray’s body would be brought to CAB tomorrow for cricket lovers to pay tributes to the former chief minister of the state.
President of Bengal Table Tennis Association Gopinath Ghosh said “it was because of Ray’s efforts and sustained help that Calcutta could host World Table Tennis championship in 1975”.
Indian Football Association Secretary Utpal Ganguly also expressed deep sorrow on Ray’s death.
He said, “Though people know him mostly as a cricket and tennis lover, Ray also was equally interested and helpful about football.”
As chief minister of West Bengal, Ray selected the site and laid the foundation stone of Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Salt Lake, he said.