Dalmiya to become ICC president

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Jagmohan Dalmiya has been elected the first president of the International Council for a three-year term after the retirement of Sir Clyde Walcott in June. He will take into the new job an aggressive approach to spreading the game beyond the bounds of the Commonwealth, from which most cricket-playing nations are drawn.

Raj Singh Dungarpur, the president of the Board of Control for in India, said yesterday that the board's working committee had decided to nominate Dalmiya before the ICC's chief executive, David Richards, announced in Kuala Lumpur on Monday that India would take over leadership of the ICC from June. Richards had given them until 31 May to name their choice for the new post, which will replace the chairman's job when Walcott, a Barbadian, retires.

Dalmiya's ascent to the top ICC post came after a heated debate last year over the council's electoral process that stood on the verge of a legal battle threatened by Indian officials.

Dalmiya, who is secretary of the BCCI, played a key role in organising the World Cup jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year. A construction magnate by profession, he has also been aggressively promoting the idea of commercial sponsorships for cricket and taking the game to more countries.

Last July, Dalmiya contested the chairmanship and was backed by full members Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, besides a majority of the 22 associate members. Test-playing nations, called full members, have two votes against one for associate members.

The president's post was part of a new governing structure aimed at improving the management and development of international cricket, Richards said.

India were unanimously elected to provide the president until June 2000 at a special general meeting of the ICC on Sunday. An Australian will succeed Dalmiya after 2000, and the successor will serve as vice-president from June 1999, before taking over as president.

Scotland, who hope to raise the profile of cricket north of the border, beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets in their opening game in the World Cup qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. George Salmond, their captain, was their top-scorer with 37 not out as the Scots reached 121 for 4 in 38.1 overs after dismissing Papua New Guinea for 120 in 36.1. "Since we arrived here all the talk has been about Papua New Guinea and how they were going to take this tournament by storm, which was a little bit off-putting because we were very confident ourselves," Salmond said on Radio Five Live.