The movers and shakers
It's that time of the year when the BCCI elections come around. Here's a list of the men who are in the thick of things, whose actions over the next few days will determine who heads the Indian board.
It matters little that he is now merely the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal. The fact that he does not hold high office in the Board of Control for Cricket in India does not preclude him from being the most influential player when the elections come around. A shrewd administrator and wheeler-dealer, Dalmiya has time and again beaten the odds, and the opposition, when it comes to garnering votes and winning elections. He's right behind Ranbir Singh Mahendra.
Ranbir Singh Mahendra
The incumbent president, who perhaps is growing weary of being referred to merely as Dalmiya's front man. Son of Bansi Lal, former chief minister of Haryana, Mahendra has been known to hold strong views on a variety of matters. From all reports he would like to use his second term in office - if he gets one - to leave his mark on Indian cricket, and be remembered as more than a "rubber-stamp" president.
Agriculture minister and president of the Nationalist Congress Party, Pawar has a reputation of being a wily politician and a heavyweight to match up against. Tasted bitter defeat in last year's elections, and is unlikely to step into the fray again unless he is virtually sure he has enough votes (out of 30) to emerge victorious. Although inexperienced in matters cricketing, Pawar has earned respect in Mumbai circles for the manner in which he has ironed out disputes that dogged the Mumbai Cricket Association, and opened doors for various projects in and around the city.
Inderjit Singh Bindra
Once a close confidante of Dalmiya, now a bitter foe and rival. He has waited long for a chance to overthrow Dalmiya and get back in the thick of Indian cricket administration. He built the best cricket facility in India - the Punjab Cricket Association ground at Mohali - in record time, and has impressive credentials as an administrator. Has worked behind the scenes for some time now trying to whip up unity among the anti-Dalmiya cricket associations.
Raj Singh Dungarpur
An evergreen figure in Indian cricket at the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai, Dungarpur has been more outspoken in his criticism and opposition of Dalmiya than anyone else. For a few years now he has been predicting - perhaps more out of hope than conviction - that Dalmiya's days were numbered and that Indian cricket would be back in better hands. His tendency to make sweeping statements and proclamations make him a favourite with the electronic media, but have not endeared him overly to the people who matter in cricket.
President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and virulently anti-Dalmiya, this AC Muttiah faithful has been constantly locked in tussles with the Mahendra administration. He's smarting from being recently dropped from the prestigious marketing committee of the BCCI and would like nothing more than to see the back of Mahendra and a return to the mainstream.