Is Lalit Modi the fall guy of Indian cricket?
New Delhi: 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 today for all the ills plaguing the premier T20 tournament.
Modi, who has had a meteoric rise in Indian cricket, has come hurtling down and his friends-turned-foes in the Indian cricket board did not pause for a second before taking the drastic decision Wednesday.
They all fell in line with their boss Narayanaswami Srinivasan and banned Modi for life at a Special General Meeting 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 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, he knew what was coming and is now gearing up to take on his rivals in the board.
"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," tweeted Modi minutes after the BCCI took the decision.
Modi was soon on various 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 11 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 league and also antagonised a few powerful men who took their revenge 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 Narayanaswami 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 to throw him out.
Modi filled the coffers of the BCCI with Indian Premier League (IPL) riches, but his brash, no-nonsense style of functioning 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 Invitiation to Tender (ITT) in December 2009 -- for adding two more teams to the league - to Modi`s eventual suspension in April 2010.
In fact, it was the introduction of the Kochi franchise that hit Modi badly. The case of Kochi constituted three of the eleven charges pressed against him, including rigging bids, arm-twisting franchises and bringing the BCCI into disrepute through his comments on Twitter.
The committee found Modi guilty on eight different charges of "various acts of indiscipline and misconduct" making it easy for the BCCI to strike.
Modi knows it doesn`t take long for the equations to change in Indian cricket and has vowed to fight his way back. He is not wasting much sleep over the board`s move and decided to go to Old Trafford and watch the Capital One Cup match between Manchester United and Liverpool.