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News

Former BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary dies of heart attack

He served as the Jharkhand State Cricket Association president for over a decade

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
16-Aug-2022
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary addresses the media in Jaipur, IPL 2019 auction, Jaipur, December 18, 2018

Amitabh Choudhary was the BCCI acting secretary when the Committee of Administrators was overseeing the board  •  AFP

Amitabh Choudhary, the former BCCI secretary and veteran Jharkhand cricket administrator, died of a heart attack in Ranchi on Tuesday morning. He was 62.
Choudhary was BCCI's acting secretary when the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators oversaw the functioning of the board from early 2017 to October 2019. He entered cricket administration in 2004, and served as the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) president for over a decade. Choudhary was first appointed as team manager of the Indian team in 2005 on their tour of Zimbabwe, remembered for the acrimony between Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell. Choudhary also served as BCCI's joint-secretary from 2013 to 2015 during Anurag Thakur's reign as BCCI president.
In subsequent years, Choudhary rose to become an important member of several BCCI committees, as a representative of East Zone.
It was during his stint as president that JSCA constructed the state-of-the-art stadium in Ranchi, which hosted its first international fixture in January 2013, an ODI between India and England.
In a statement, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, "I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sad demise of Mr Amitabh Choudhary. I had a long association with him and have always cherished our meetings.
"I got to know him first on the tour of Zimbabwe when I was leading India, and he was the Team Manager. Over the course of time, our interactions grew and his passion for the sport was evident. Today, we have a world-class stadium and complex in Ranchi and it is thanks to his vision and relentless efforts."
Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, said, "As an administrator, he was very passionate and wanted to bring about a real change at the grassroots level. Cricket in Jharkhand was at a very nascent stage when he took over and we have witnessed a real transformation under his leadership."
There were a few acrimonious points during Choudhary's stint under the CoA. For example, in early 2018, the CoA had said that most of the BCCI office-bearers were preventing changes, as prescribed by the Supreme Court of India, from being implemented. To that, Choudhary had replied by saying that the committee had "lost sight of the mandate" while trying to put in place the reforms.
Among his tougher administrative challenges was the Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli clash that culminated in Kumble's exit as India head coach in June 2017.
A former IPS officer, Choudhary until recently served as chairman of the Jharkhand Public Service Commission. He retired last month following the completion of a two-year term.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo