Kolkata: People close to him would swear by his commitment to Bengal cricket. Not to be deterred by the ugly politics that mars many a cricket administration, Samir Dasgupta stood his ground. Unfortunately, the 74-year old breathed his last in Kolkata today. The longest serving manager of the Bengal team took ill at Rajkot and was flown back to Kolkata from Mumbai. He didn’t accompany the Bengal team at Lahli where it lost a crucial match against Vadodra.
The ever-jovial man was admitted to RN Tagore Hospital on November 19 where he passed away after four days. “He suffered a cardiac arrest around 6.40am today at the RN Tagore Hospital and breathed his last,” Dasgupta’s son-in-law told PTI. Dasgupta leaves behind his wife and two daughters.
Such was the popularity of Dasgupta with players that he was reinstated as the manager of the team after having been replaced by Rusi Jejeebhoy in the 2009-10 season. The Bengal team was far more comfortable with Dasgupta and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had no other option than appointing him back in the next season.
Condolences have started pouring in after his sad demise. “We would always get sweets from him. During winters he would give us Nalengurer rosogolla’. He was such a gentle soul someone who would always make you smile with his positive vibes,” former Bengal captain Rohan Gavaskar says. His former teammate who has now turned a commentator after retirement, Deep Dasgupta adds, “There came a time when junk foods like sweets and pizzas were banned but we knew where to get it, and we would head straight to Samirda’s room.”
CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya says, “I’ve known him from the time of my father (Late Jagmohan Dalmiya). He has always served the association tirelessly. Besides being an expert in man management, he was a warm and honest human being. His sudden and untimely death is most unfortunate, and has left us grief-stricken. May his family get the courage to deal with this tragedy.”
Dasgupta a diabetic was also the vice-president of the prestigious East Bengal Club, and was instrumental in getting Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev to play in the P Sen Trophy in 1992 for the club. The presence of big stars in that year also revived the fortunes of club cricket in Bengal.
“He was one of the friendliest administrators the sport has ever seen. Be it the DA, arranging a hotel or making sure of the laundry, he will go out of his way to ensure that the player is in a comfort zone, free from any hassle. It’s a personal loss for me,” Dasgupta reminisces. It’s no doubt a big loss for Bengal cricket.
(With inputs from PTI)