The IPL mess April 26, 2010

Amin a contrast to flamboyant Modi

The new IPL chairman brings to the table inscrutability, a low profile, a respectability and credibility among his peers, professional competence and an aversion to controversy.

After Lalit Modi, enter Chirayu Amin. The announcement this afternoon that the IPL's interim chairman would be the president of the Baroda Cricket Association drew an underwhelming response and the feeling that the BCCI had missed a trick by not appointing a bigger name who would be equal to the enormous task at hand.

Yet that doesn't fully account for Amin's profile: He is chairman of the century-old pharma major Alembic, and a former president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a top corporate lobby group. His standing in Vadodara, a genteel university town in central Gujarat, is impeccable - apart from Alembic, his family runs a couple of the more sought-after schools - and his personal wealth is likely to leave him unfazed by the scale of what he has to set right. It's fair to say, though, that Amin isn't half as well known as two decades-old company products: Glycodin cough syrup and Yera glassware.

What does Amin bring to the table? Apart from the Yera glasses, he brings inscrutability, a low profile, a respectability and credibility among his peers, professional competence and an aversion to controversy. Very much, in fact, the identikit of Shashank Manohar, who said he turned down the job in the first place.

Those who have observed him up close in Vadodara say he doesn't talk much, preferring instead to get the work done quietly. His strength in this latest challenge, apart from his corporate skills, will be his discretion; he is unlikely to announce his findings on Twitter. In that he syncs well with Manohar and N Srinivasan, the board secretary. Another asset is his relative lack of enemies, even in the polarised world of Gujarat politics. "He has few friends, because he keeps to himself, but he has fewer enemies," one observer said.

Ironically the FICCI presidency, Amin's most high-profile post till now, came about thanks to cricket: the original nominee for the job became the BCCI president. Double irony that AC Muthiah is now ranged against the group Amin belongs to. And the head of the entertainment committee during Amin's term? A certain Lalit Modi, who is still a member of FICCI thanks to his other avatar as president of Modi Enterprises.

Back in the day, of course, they were part of the Sharad Pawar group that ended the Jagmohan Dalmiya regime in 2005, though Amin didn't play as crucial a role as did Modi and Manohar; his utility as a chartered accountant came later, when Pawar and co set about unraveling Dalmiya's alleged financial misdemeanours.

Since then he has largely been working in the background, serving on marketing and financial committees and providing Pawar and Manohar with his backing in any crucial vote. He has done enough to become one of the five vice-presidents - four, after Modi's suspension - a post he has held since 2004.

His cricketing connections in Vadodara are equally low-profile, though his company has lent its name to one of the city's three first-class grounds. He has headed the BCA for almost a decade, coming to power with the help of Kiran More; together, they eventually ended the long reign of Jaywant Lele, the former BCCI secretary, in scenarios replicated across the country - in Jaipur and Kolkata, to name but two centres - by others who would gravitate towards Pawar. His is not a hands-on style and he doesn't talk much but he is said to make it a point to attend managing committee meetings.

It's that quiet style that he will bring to the IPL role. That, and a different corporate ethos, one that is likely to include committees and delegation - with oversight. He won't rock the boat but perhaps it doesn't need any rocking right now. Can Chirayu Amin deliver? His best bet would be to emulate the best qualities of Yera - transparent, solid, dependable.

Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of Cricinfo in India

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2010, 2:46 GMT


  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    In a cricket related league, I think only cricketers should hold the offices. Until and unless real cricket lover won't intervene, this crisis will have no end. Be it Modi or any other commercially exposed person, he/she will exploit cricket.

    So never be satisfied with this change, instead try to unveil the facts of this onging ambiguity.

  • Azhar on April 27, 2010, 20:21 GMT

    Where has ICC gone? Why are they keeping quite in this fraud? I guess all the crooks involved in this scam league are whiter boys and Indians.

  • Prashant on April 27, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    BCCI may or may have not learnt from its past mistakes or this could have been purely by accident, Amin even though interm may end up working well for the league and BCCI. BCCI/Indian Cricket always failed handling high profile, media hoggers who think they are bigger than the game itself (case in point, Greg Chappel, Lalit Modi). They prospered with mild, behind the scene personalities being at the helm (ala John Wrigth, Gary Kirsten). Pawar, Dalmia, Lele, Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Srinivasan are shrewds, they know when, where and how to manage their pawns but never commiting themseleves. Everyone or most knew about franchise/city based leagues existed even before IPL but who had the guts/vision to bring it to India, just for that , I will give it to Modi. Some might say ICL and PHL were there before it but who was sucessful that counts.

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    What i think is Lalit Modi i guess marketed himself and IPL much better than others.I bet anybody in his place could have done same good work or else a little better too but i guess Modi made himself an icon,so much so that many believe he is the creator of IPL.I couldn't believe there was no such position as Commissioner of IPL he just made it for himself,this sure would have raised a lot eyebrows as we know the guys who are silent in BCCI are much powerful than he is and everybody wants a piece of this money.I guess if somebody else with much professionalism was chosen in place of Mr.Modi IPL could have reached the heights of football tournaments! But Modi is gonna come back because we Indians idealize the ones like him because of their flamboyance but never question their abilities.

  • Anudeep on April 27, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    IPL would always remain tarnished until all these politicians are sacked or go through a genuine inquiry. No matter how good this Mr. Amin is it would be difficult for him to operate in a fair way. The best part about Manohar's press conference yesterday was the declaration of Mr. Pawar's clean chit. Who the hell is Manohar to declare that? I don't think people want to hear that from BCCI Prez. Do a fair inquiry of all the people involved in the IPL. But then who should to the inquiry, CBI ????

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2010, 10:59 GMT

    Let BCCI bring anyone they need, but is BCCI or Amin ready to announce his current bank balance an property details. so that we can calculate how much he can earn in interim.

  • Bobby on April 27, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    My comments are on record at cricket info web site regarding future of IPL. Reality is that IPL is a flawed idea & Lalit Modi had become bigger than the game so his tenure has come to a sad end. It is a shameful episode for Indian cricket that seems to be showing a lot of arrogance towards others.The way BCCI and Modi in particular handled affair of Pakistani player was pathetic. World is now laughing at Indian cricket and IPL should be stopped immediately.IPL has done nothing to Indian cricket of note and India continues losing where it matters. Foreign players have made big money milking the IPL and have also honed their skills in India while Indian players and administration's aim to push team India towards flawed ICC rankings top spot is a joke. Corruption allegations do prove that Australia is still the top ranked team on and off the field. I expect team India coming home after first round as IPL has took away the national pride and everything has a dollar value in Indian cricket

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Mr Amin is being designated as interim only, so why do ppl make a lot of fuss. Heis so low-key, I could nt find anythign useful in a simple google search. Thanks to the author for compiling this info. Hope he brings in a big level of transparency, and ensure that ipl site is having all the info that the general public may want to know. The parallel with the cough syrup is very well appreciated. IPL doesn't really need a flamboyant person to lead; what it really needs is an effective person. We, as a cricket enthusiasts, really dont need to know who Amin is or who Manohar is; as in how many tweets or blog entries they post in a day; or how many step-daughters they have. All we need is somebody who can run the show showing cricketers in the front.

  • Nitin on April 27, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    From a megalomaniac to a stooge! Well done, BCCI and very very very well wrriten, Mr. Gupta!

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