Shimla: Suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi had taken the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) route to gain entry into the big league of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Former HPCA president Rajinder Zar, who headed the state association between 1990 and 1995, told IANS that by financially helping the cash-strapped HPCA, Modi got to be the representative of the association in 1999 and succeeded in getting a `proxy` entry into the BCCI.
"When I was heading the HPCA, Modi tried to influence a number of times to me and other members. He not only offered monetary help but also tried to impress upon the HPCA members by using contacts of senior people in the BCCI. Even some of the politicians tried to influence us. However, we did not relent as it was against the principles of the HPCA rules," said Zar, who was the BCCI`s vice-president from 1992 to 1994.
Raghubir Singh Thakur, another former HPCA president, admitted Modi was made member of the HPCA in 1999.
"Modi helped the HPCA when it was in crisis. He gave a donation of Rs.12 lakh in 1999 and he was given HPCA membership after following due formalities. There was nothing wrong on the part of the HPCA to get donation," said Thakur, a former legislator from Himachal Pradesh, who was the HPCA president from 1995 to 2000.
Thakur said Modi, however, left the HPCA in 2000 and joined the Rajasthan Cricket Association.