GUJARAT’S NEW INNINGS
Amit Shah’s management methods have helped craft the Gujarat cricket team’s success story
They all thought it was a bit of a pipe-dream. Amit Shah’s stated aim of making the Gujarat cricket team one of the best in the country when he took charge as vice-president of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) in 2009, was received by other officebearers with some derision. As was the then association president Narendra Modi’s promise of bringing a new professionalism to the game.
Eight years on, with Shah taking over as GCA president after Modi moved to Delhi as prime minister in 2014, the BJP chief ’s words have proved prophetic. The cricketing fraternity was agog on January 14 when Gujarat trumped Mumbai in the Ranji finals to finally take the trophy home. And this was no fluke, coming close on the heels of wins in both one-day (Vijay Hazare Trophy, 2015-16) and T-20 (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, 2014-15). In fact, Gujarat is the first team to have won in all three formats of the game.
Before the turnaround, Gujarat had been among the more poorly performing cricket teams in the country, having only ever made it to the Ranji trophy final once and that too over five decades ago (the state has two other teams in the Ranji trophy, Saurashtra and Baroda). Just one GCA player, Parthiv Patel, had made it to the na-