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London: May 6, 2014
Back in the reckoning for a return to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after being elected President of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), banned former IPL chief Lalit Modi on Tuesday said winning the polls is the first step towards returning to the Indian cricket board.
“It is a big victory. It has been four years since I have been fighting the previous cricket establishment at the RCA because of the deteriorating facilities,” Modi told ESPNCricinfo after the Supreme Court-appointed observer announced the much-awaited poll results.
Asked whether the win paves the way for a BCCI comeback, Modi said: “I am not denying that. We have to cleanse cricket.
“The Supreme Court has helped in that activity by appointing Justice Mudgal panel to probe the allegations of corruption in the IPL.” Modi, who is living in exile here, said his aim is to improve the RCA’s functioning.
“During my previous tenure as RCA president, we had made it the premier state association. We had built a state-of-the-art academy, a good stadium and we had plans to build a new stadium.
“Apparently the academy has fallen apart, there was bias in the selection process (of both first-class and age-group teams) and there was not much cricket happening in Rajasthan anymore. After I left, the administration had become political. The CP Joshi regime did not do anything worthy of note at the RCA.”
“My top priority would be to bring RCA back to its former glory. To do that we need to rectify the house within. We need to introspect and see what went wrong. And this time I want to build a system which just will not fall apart irrespective of who runs the RCA,” said Modi, who was also a BCCI vice-president from 2005 until September 2010 besides being the man responsible for creating the cash-rich IPL.
On how he plans to run the RCA from London and with uncertainty over his return, Modi said, “It (my return) is not uncertain. I will be back soon. As and when the Indian (federal) government changes we will see. In 10 days’ time the election results will be out, so we never know how soon I will be back.”
The combative businessman’s elevation expectedly prompted the BCCI to suspend the RCA indefinitely and could also lead to its termination. A defiant Modi said he was not afraid of the BCCI.
“Let them try. I am not afraid of that fight. I have not been afraid of any fight. If they want to cancel our affiliation, let them do that. That does not mean cricket in Rajasthan is going to stop. What are they going to do: not allow us to play matches? We are going to fight for our rights and fight for our boys.”
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