Is Lalit Modi’s ban justified?

He may be watching the League Cup tie between Liverpool and Manchester United at Old Trafford, but controversy pertaining to cricket continues to dog Lalit Modi.

He may be watching the League Cup tie between Liverpool and Manchester United at Old Trafford, but controversy pertaining to cricket continues to dog Lalit Modi. He has seen his rise and fall like the Indian rupee, from being the poster boy of Indian cricket, Lalit Modi, creator of the highly lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), is being made the fall guy for all the ills plaguing the premier T20 tournament. Modi’s meteoric rise came hurtling down on Wednesday as friends-turned-foes in the Indian cricket board did not pause for a second before taking the drastic decision to impose a life ban on him.

They all fell in line with their boss N .Srinivasan and banned Modi for life at a Special General Meeting held in Chennai, charging him officially with “serious misconduct and indiscipline,” and alleged financial irregularities in IPL between 2008 and 2010.

It was only last month that Modi, the marketing guru of IPL, had asked the “BCCI members to wake up and see the writing on the wall”. Ironically for Modi, who hails from one of the most reputed business families of the country, knew what was coming and is now gearing up to take on his rivals in the board.

Modi tweeted his anger, “Ban on me as predicted. Like I said not perturbed about it. Rather happy not to be sitting on same table as facilitators of match fixing. Only Time will show I am right. I have no reason to be remorse about this as I got to live and create my dream. Ban not going to stop me.”

He also took to television channels warning the board chiefs to be prepared for a long drawn-out public spat and watch out for some sensational stuff. The BCCI took the decision minutes after the Supreme Court turned down Modi’s plea for putting on hold the Special General Meeting. It took exactly elevan minutes to deliberate the issue before ending Modi’s tumultuous cricket journey.

During his five-year-tenure (2005-2010), Modi became the youngest vice-president, created one of the most successful cricket leagues and also antagonised a few powerful men who took their revenge on Wednesday. Modi entered Indian cricket by overthrowing the powerful Rungta family in Jaipur that had controlled Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for more than 30 years. Apart from being the RCA president, he was also a vice-president of the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA).

He openly defied the might of Jagmohan Dalmiya and also joined hands with N.Srinivasan in engineering Dalmiya’s exit, albeit temporarily, from the board. Little did he know that it would be the same Srinivasan and Dalmiya, who would join hands in throwing him out.

Modi filled the coffers of the BCCI with IPL riches, but his brash, no-nonsense style of functioning  that irked his peers. The BCCI pounced on him at the first available opportunity and quickly set up a Special Disciplinary Committee to probe his alleged financial irregularities during his tenure as the IPL chairman and commissioner.

In its 134-page inquiry report, the disciplinary committee comprising senior vice-president Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia had detailed the alleged irregularities that Modi committed from the time the IPL’s governing council approved the draft of the Initiation to Tender (ITT) in December 2009 — for adding two more teams to the league – to Modi’s eventual suspension in April 2010.

-Additional input from IANS

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