How a former Indian Premier League czar fell from grace

How a former Indian Premier League czar fell from grace

Lalit Kumar Modi is in the news again and, not surprisingly, for the wrong reasons.
His latest controversy, involving Sushma Swaraj, has shaken the government. It’s an eerie coincidence that the last time he got embroiled with a Union minister holding the same portfolio, External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, it had scalped the Kerala politician.

The 49-year-old Modi, a former cricket administrator with the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, rose to prominence when he planned and successfully executed the Indian Premier League, which has since grown into one of the richest sporting leagues in the world.

He was the first chairman and commissioner of IPL and the chairman of the Champions League T20 between 2008 and 2010. He was also the vice-president of the BCCI, between 2005 and September 2010, and the vice-president of the Punjab Cricket Association.

After presiding over IPL for three years, where he almost acted like a dictator, he was found guilty of misconduct and indiscipline, resulting in his removal and subsequent lifetime ban by the BCCI.

His fall from grace was extraordinary that appeared imminent after his ego clash with the UPA regime over providing security for IPL 2 which was eventually held in South Africa in 2009 much to the chagrin of the then home minister P Chidambaram. This was, perhaps, the beginning of the end for the former IPL czar.

By the time the third edition of the IPL approached, Modi had grown too big for his own shoes. He created two new teams and oversaw the bidding process where Pune and Kochi were declared the new franchises. A Twitter entry by Modi declaring the stakeholders of the Kochi IPL team, allegedly breaching confidentiality agreements, led to the resignation of Shashi Tharoor.

An embarrassed UPA government turned the heat on the BCCI, launching a series of probes into the alleged financial irregularities by several IPL franchises. As a result, his friends in the BCCI turned against Modi and he was suspended as chairman and commissioner of IPL in April 2010.

On Sept 6, 2013, BCCI’s three-member committee consisting of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arun Jaitley and Chiryu Amin accused Modi of several irregularities and on September 25, BCCI imposed a life ban on him.With the Enforcement Directorate hotly pursuing Modi’s alleged violation of foreign exchange laws, he fled the country in April 2010 and since then has stayed in London from where he was declared the president of Rajasthan Cricket Association in May 2014 but was impeached from this position on March 9, 2015.

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