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Ranjib Biswal named new IPL chairman

Ranjib Biswal, the Odisha Cricket Association chief, was named the IPL chairman, a post left vacant by Rajiv Shukla, who decided to resign at the end of his tenure this year.

Biswal, a former India under-19 captain and first-class cricketer, was the manager of the Indian team during the 2011 World Cup triumph and was also a former chairman of the National Cricket Academy.

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.
The all-rounder has five first-class hundreds and 153 wickets in 41 matches and has also been the National Cricket Academy (NCA) chairman in the past.

Biswal has been part of cricket administration. In 2011, he started an Orissa Premier League with 10 teams. The OPL was aimed at making cricket in Orissa attractive to young players. It was a decent success with bidders paying as much as Rs 55 lakh base price to buy a team. But handling a million-dollar baby like the IPL will be some ask, especially when high-profile team owners and players are facing allegations of corruption and of course, a conflict of interest. Can Biswal afford to take some hard decisions?

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