Mumbai: Former BCCI President Purshottam M Rungta, who passed away here this morning, was highly respected by the Cricket Board members and had attended each one of its AGMs as a special invitee till 2000, according to former secretary Jaywant Lele.
Rungta, who died at his residence after a prolonged illness according to BCCI CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty, had served as the Board's President for a three-year term between 1972-73 and 1974-75.
He was 88.
Known as 'Bhaiji' to his friends and close acquaintances, Rungta was involved with the BCCI affairs for several years.
"Rungta was a gentleman and was well respected by the Board's administrators who considered him to be a father figure. He had attended every one of the Board's AGM after his term ended till 2000 as a special invitee," Lele told PTI from Baroda.
Lele, a huge supporter of former International Cricket Council president and ex-BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, recalled the role played by Rungta in the two-year suspension of another former President I S Bindra at the AGM of the Board held in Vishakapatnam in 2000.
"Bindra uttered some nonsense against Dalmiya that it was he and not Dalmiya who should have become the ICC President at the AGM and it was Rungta who moved the resolution to suspend Bindra for two years for that," Lele said.
As the Board President too, Rungta had to take a tough stand against former captain Bishen Singh Bedi who was dropped from the opening Bangalore Test match against the visiting West Indies team led by Clive Lloyd in 1974-75 on disciplinary grounds.
The Board's contention was that Bedi had not taken its permission before appearing in a TV programme in England on the disastrous tour in 1974 when the Indian squad, led by Ajit Wadekar, was whitewashed 3-0 by the home team amidst talks of dissension among senior players.