Amitabh Chaudhary, the former BCCI secretary and president of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) died of heart attack on Tuesday morning.
He was 62.
A retired senior IPS officer, who rose to the rank of IGP with the Jharkhand Police, the former top cop was also the chairman of Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC).
"Deeply saddened by news of sudden passing away of former JPSC chairman Shri Amitabh Chaudhary. Former IPS officer Amitabh ji played a significant role in development of cricket in the state. May his soul rest in peace and condolences and strength to his family in this hour of grief," Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren tweeted.
An IIT Kharagpur alumnus, Chaudhary was instrumental in getting the first-class status for Jharkhand after BCCI disbanded the Bihar Cricket Association during the late Jagmohan Dalmiya's tenure in the early part of the new millennium.
Once Jharkhand got the official FC status, Mahendra Singh Dhoni shifted from Bihar and represented the state till the end of his career.
Chaudhary also played a major role in building one of the finest cricket stadiums in Ranchi and should be considered instrumental in bringing international cricket and IPL to the industrial town.
He had also served as a BCCI joint secretary and was an administrative manager with the Indian team on a few occasions.
However, his toughest assignment was the 2005 tour of Zimbabwe, where the much publicised fall-out happened between erstwhile captain Sourav Ganguly and then coach Greg Chappell.
In fact, it was during that infamous tour that Chappell had sent the e-mail to BCCI president Sharad Pawar, recommending exclusion of Ganguly and a host of other senior players.
Chaudhary's acting secretaryship tenure coincided with Indian cricket's darkest administrative period when Committee of Administrators (CoA) was in charge.
Chaudhary wasn't allowed to function by the COA and it often led to a lot of acrimony.
He was also at the thick of things when the ugly feud between former skipper Virat Kohli and the then head coach Anil Kumble came out in the open.
However, Chaudhary was a marvellous raconteur and often on the sidelines of various BCCI meetings would regale his audience with stories that would have everyone in splits.
Ganguly, Shah 'shocked' by sudden demise
BCCI president Ganguly, who was the Indian captain when Chaudhary became the manager for the first time, recalled their association of more than a decade and half.
"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," Ganguly said in a press release.
"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. My thoughts and sympathy are with his friends and family in this hour of grief," he added.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah recalled how under Chaudhary's leadership, the face of Jharkhand cricket changed forever.
"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.
Shah also recalled that Chaudhary had held key position at a difficult time when CoA was running Indian cricket.
"He assumed key BCCI positions during a challenging period and navigated the ship really well. Our talks often revolved around the game and administration, and he always spoke with a lot of zeal. My thoughts are with his family and friends. May the almighty give them the strength to overcome this loss."