BIPIN DANI MUMBAI - Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi was pleasantly surprised when he received a call from his good-mate Mushtaq Mohammad paying rich tribute to Jagmohan Dalmiya.

"Dalmiya brought about revolutionary changes in world cricket. May Allah rest his soul in peace,” Mushtaq Mohammad told to Bedi from England (where he is based now). "This comment coming from a Pakistani is to be cherished,” Bedi has said in his guest column to one daily.

Another former Pakistani captain Asif Iqbal was not too far behind praising the departed Dalmiya. "I am deeply saddened by Jaggu's passing away. He was a very special human being who lived for loved cricket,” Asif said exclusively from Kent. "I am forever indebted to him for his support of CBFS in Sharjah.”Asif was a co-coordinator at the CBFS and was responsible for bringing the game in UAE. "Like Kerry Packer is responsible for revolutionizing the marketing and telecasting of cricket, Jaggu has been doing the same with the ICC,” he added.

“The BCCI and CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) have been very fortunate to have had the services of this tireless passionate of the game. I was fortunate to have been associated with him since early 80's. He was a very special person, a close personal friend who will be missed. "May God rest his soul in peace and give his family strength to bear this huge loss,” Asif concluded.

Another former captain Zaheer Abbas was also among those who paid rich tributes to Dalmiya terming his death a great loss for cricket community.

He said he had lost a great admirer and personal friend. “Former ICC president Dalmiya, who was also present BCCI president, was a true cricket lover and an advocate of Pakistan-India bilateral cricket series. He was the one, who, when he was at the helm of BCCI affairs, arranged the landmark 2004 cricket series between the two neighboring countries in the highly difficult times.”

Zaheer said they used to meet and exchange their views during meetings and the Pakistani received a lot of support and respect from the former ICC president. “I must say that Pakistan has lost a great friend.”

“His services for cricket will always be remembered. His neat and clean image also helped him a great deal in earning respect not only in subcontinent, but also across the world,” he added.