Dalmiya`s legal counsel delighted with BCCI`s decision

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 17:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Overjoyed at the Cricket Board`s (BCCI) decision to revoke Jagmohan Dalmiya`s suspension, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president`s legal counsel Usha Nath Banerjee today said it will be the start of a new era for the seasoned cricket administrator.

The 70-year-old former ICC president was sidelined from Indian cricket administration after he was accused of embezzling the 1996 World Cup funds in a lawsuit filed in the Bombay High Court in 2006.

But the BCCI at its AGM decided to withdraw the fund embezzlement case and the four-year expulsion against Dalmiya, giving him a new lease of life.

"I am overwhelmed to be informed that BCCI has taken steps in the right direction by unconditionally withdrawing all charges levied against Dalmiya including his expulsion. A new era will start now," Banerjee, who served as BCCI`s legal adviser for 19 years, said.

"It gives satisfaction to Dalmiya and all concerned to inform everyone that he did not commit any wrong or any misdeed as was earlier falsely projected and claimed.”

"It has not only restored the prestige, image and dignity of Dalmiya but also to the entire fraternity in the Cricket Association of Bengal," Banerjee said.

A former ICC, ACC and BCCI president, Dalmiya faced a prolonged court battle with the Board for alleged embezzlement of 1996 World Cup funds.

The Dalmiya-BCCI stand-off started in 2004, when his casting vote helped Ranbir Singh Mahendra beat Sharad Pawar in an acrimonious election.

Later, when Pawar came to power, Dalmiya was expelled from BCCI meetings and an FIR was filed against him in 2006, accusing him of embezzling the 1996 World Cup funds, which forced him to step down as CAB president.

After a year-long legal battle, Dalmiya was allowed to contest elections again and he won back the CAB presidency by an overwhelming margin in 2008.

According to Police charges, Dalmiya misused Rs 2.90 crore from a bank account meant for the 1996 World Cup.

Except for a 19-month hiatus, Dalmiya has been at the helm of CAB since 1993.

The former BCCI chief stepped down from the CAB post after being slapped with a ban by the Pawar-ruled Board, before returning to power in 2008 by defeating then president Prasun Mukherjee.