How you can keep the powerful Lalit Modi out of the Indian cricket scene for ever? He was the chief architect of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Lalit Kumar Modi is now back in the news.
Modi has been elected as the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA). Lalit Modi was in exile after being slapped with a life ban in 2013 after the Board of Cricket Control for India's disciplinary committee found him guilty on charges of indiscipline and misconduct.
“I wanted to prove a point to my detractors”, he said, referring chiefly to N Srinivasan, the BCCI president who was himself forced to step aside by Supreme Court in March.
Modi swept the polls winning by an emphatic 24-5 margin after the Supreme Court of India cleared the decks for the announcement of the RCA election results, more than four months after the acrimonious polls. The first thing he did after his elections was a live internet video conferencing with the media.
However, the BCCI-Modi duel soon got bitter when BCCI indefinitely suspended the RCA and decided to form an ad-hoc committee to run the affairs of the Rajasthan cricket.
The RCA authorities are now claiming that they will fight against this suspension, as RCA is governed by the Rajasthan Sports Act of the Rajasthan Government, and BCCI is just a registered body.
Modi and Srinivasan's bitter enmity has spilled over into the public sphere over the months, with both men sparing no words while criticizing each other. Srinivasan called Modi a ‘fugitive’ and said his words hold no credibility. Modi replied he was not one to take such a punch lying down, and his intention was to unseat Srinivasan, who he said had a vice-like grip not only over the BCCI but also over the International Cricket Council.
According to Modi, Srinivasan had accumulated so much power in BCCI that no one dared to oppose him and finally the Supreme Court had to intervene to sideline him.
Modi has been living in London for the past four years after an alleged security threat to Modi and his family was cited as a reason for his departure from India.
IPL, as claimed by Modi was his brainchild which he thought of almost 2 decades ago but finally implemented it after India’s tragic ouster from the 2007 Cricket World Cup in West Indies.
The IPL was a hybrid league designed after studying the models of different sports league around the world, including the famous England football domestic league - the English Premier League (EPL).
The league was carefully crafted to change the face of Indian cricket and help improve the domestic game at grassroots level. It was also designed to provide opportunities to upcoming cricketers to showcase their talents while sharing the platform with world-class cricketers from all over the cricket playing nations.
But the BCCI has been on a slippery ground over the last few years, due to a lot of scandals that have taken place especially revolving around its cash lucrative league, scams like betting, match fixing, mismanagement in the board and misuse of power.
So with the return of the 'tainted' Modi, many more questions will surely be raised by the media and cricketing fans about the transparency left in this game.
Big names have already popped up in the betting and fixing scandal. Two franchises – Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors had to be terminated over the financial issues.
The road had not been easy and if Modi uses the RCA presidency as a stepping stone in making his entry back into the boardroom of BCCI, the question remains as to whether can cleanse the IPL again.