Ranjib Biswal appointed IPL Chairman

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) president Ranjib Biswal has been appointed chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL) at the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting in Chennai today, bringing an end to the suspense over the next head of the Twenty20 format cricket after former IPL chief Lalit Modi was handed a life ban by the BCCI in its Special General Meeting (SGM) few days ago.
Biswal, a former India under-19 captain, was the manager of the Indian team during the 2011 World Cup triumph and was also a former chairman of the National Cricket Academy.
Ranjib replaces Rajeev Shukla, who resigned as IPL supremo in the wake of the IPL spot-fixing scandal. Biswal played first-class cricket for Orissa between 1987 and 1996 as an all-rounder. He has 2170 runs in his career and has taken 153 wickets.
The decision to appoint the IPL chairman took the longest time in the AGM, given that veteran Jagmohan Dalmiya's name was doing the rounds before the AGM.
But Dalmiya's age, 73, would have put him at a disadvantage in the demanding job. The 43-year-old Biswal, however, would be better-equipped to deal with the week-after-week city-hopping during the IPL.
Biswal was a part of the contingent that triumphed in the Champions Trophy in England close on the heels of the IPL-6 spot-fixing and betting scandal that rocked Indian cricket.
The former Odisha cricketer was a team selector when the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Team India to the first Twenty20 World Championships in 2007.
Often seen as a 'lucky mascot' for the national cricket team, the BCCI, rattled by the IPL spot-fixing allegations, has now turned to Biswal to ensure players maintain discipline and abide by strict rules of behaviour during the Champions Trophy earlier this year.
Biswal, a former 'permanent manager' of the team who toured with the players for almost one and a half years till the 2011 World Cup, including tour to South Africa, ensured there was no unwanted attention on Dhoni and Co during the tournament in England a few months ago.
(With agency inputs)