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SLC felicitates Mr Dalmiya on its 70th anniversary

16th March 2018
Sri Lankan Cricket on the occasion of its 70th anniversary paid glowing tribute to Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya and felicitated him posthumously as the greatest non-Sri Lankan contributor to their country’s cricket.
His son, Avishek Dalmiya, Honorary Jt Secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal, was invited to receive the commemorative book brought out on the occasion on his father’s behalf. The book was handed over to him in presence of the cricketers of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India, BCB President Nazmul Hasan, former ICC President Ehsan Mani and other dignitaries at a gala at Colombo last night.

While SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala lauded Mr Dalmiya’s role in bringing Asian solidarity, he specifically mention how Mr Dalmiya stood by Sri Lanka in 1996 and sent a combined team after Australia and West Indies refuse to send their teams to the Emerald Isle.
He termed Mr Dalmiya as a ‘hero’ who had the guts to stand up for what was right and carry on in face of unmatched adversity.
Mr Ehsan Mani, former ICC President, said that he and Mr Dalmiya enjoyed a fruitful working relation and termed him as the person responsible for bringing the World Cup outside England and globalising cricket.
In a note he wrote about Mr Dalmiya: “You left a leagacy which made our great sport greater.”

Speaking on the occasion, Avishek said: "I must also admit that is a nostalgic moment for me, since the last time I had visited this beautiful country was in 1998, exactly 20 years before with my father during The 1998 Nidahas Trophy. It was called as the Singer Akai Nidahas Trophy then. While my father was the ICC President then, Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala was the President of the Sri Lanka Cricket at that time as well."

"I personally think that the tenures of my father as well as that of Mr. Ehsan Mani were quite successful in terms of commercial growth as well as globalization of the game. I also remember how Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala along with Mr. Dalmiya and Mr. Ashraful Haq worked hard for development of the Asian Bloc as the President of Asian Cricket Council. The game was spread to various parts of Asia and several programmes were undertaken then by the Asian Cricket Council, the results of which the world can see even now," he said.

Avishek added: "After all, a stronger Asia meant a stronger World Cricket too as most of the revenue gets generated from this part of the world. Mr. Dalmiya may have left for heavenly abode, but it is indeed very satisfying to notice the continuing great relationship amongst the boards of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. That I believe is the real tribute to him."

He also thanked Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala for the warm sentiments he had expressed during the inaugural Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conclave few months back and wished Sri Lanka Cricket all the very best from the core of his heart and hoped it would reach greater heights in the days ahead.

Arindam Basu