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Chirayubhai takes charge of IPL

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2010 00:19 IST
Siddhanth Aney
Siddhanth Aney
Hindustan Times
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While many knew before today that 62-year-old Chirayu Amin was the president of the Baroda Cricket Association, and a Vice-president in the BCCI, beyond these titles, the low-profile industrialist and long time cricket administrator was well away from the news. In fact, this can be seen as one of the factors that led to his appointment as interim IPL chief, with the BCCI keen to give the impression that it was on a serious clean-up drive.

Modi and Amin have one similarity; both were born to extraordinarily wealthy families. But from all accounts, that's where the similarities end. Where Modi is visible, leads a jet setting lifestyle, loves the attention, and is perhaps even a little arrogant, Amin is the exact opposite. With the nation's energies still focused on the IPL, his ability to stay above board, and maintain his low-profile will undoubtedly be appreciated by the BCCI.

The knowledge that the words 'Chirayu Amin' were among the fastest growing online searches globally, would perhaps not give much comfort to the octogenarian. For the time being, he is the occupier of the hottest seat in the sporting world. So hot in fact, that the only story Yahoo users online voted as hotter, was Katrina Kaif in a skimpy new outfit.

An MBA with specialization in finance and marketing, Mr Amin has irrefutable credentials as an administrator. A former FICCI president, his main role at present is that of Chief Managing Director of the Rs 1200 crore pharmaceutical giant, Alembic Limited. As on Monday, the company had a full market capitalization was Rs 684 crore. He is also a chairman at Sheron Ltd and Alembic Glass Ltd, and a director at United Phosphorous Limited.

Chirayubhai, as he is called in Baroda, is said to be extremely close to his family. His wife Mallika is also a Director at Alembic, and his three sons have all joined the family business. The Amins also hold massive tracts of real estate and have an engagement with their community though civic and educational causes.

So far, the report card looks good; and if you add to this the consistently good performance of Baroda in the Ranji trophy over the past few years, you have a check in the cricket administrator box as well.

There are some who have their doubts. Conspiracy theorists have labelled Amin as Sharad Pawar's man, saying he has been given the job so that things, from here on out, go according to script. Then there are some team owners who have backed Modi, and raised concerns over the BCCI's ability to run the IPL without the man whose brainchild the tournament is.

The answers are few at this point, what is clear is that Chirayu Amin has taken over mantle of IPL commissioner at a time when most would want to run in the opposite direction, and for the sake of the game, we can only hope he manages to clean up the mess.