Lalit Modi’s life ban by BCCI epitomises 'life is a rollercoaster’

Lalit Modi’s exit has been as dramatic as his entry into the Indian cricket fraternity © AFP

New Delhi: Sep 25, 2013
Astute, ruthlessly ambitious, and the one who aimed for the sky, Lalit Modi‘s eventful stint in Indian cricket firmament, with its innumerable ups and downs, truly defines the age-old saying ‘life is a rollercoaster’.

If he is credited with changing the face of world cricket by conceiving the Indian Premier League (IPL), the former IPL commissioner also found himself at the centre of many a controversy over the past three years.

The 49-year-old cricket administrator’s life today took another turn, for the worse, as he was slapped with a life ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after its disciplinary committee found him guilty on eight charges of “indiscipline and misconduct”.

The exit has been as dramatic as his entry into the Indian cricket fraternity.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Modi’s IPL consolidated BCCI’s position as the financial superpower in world cricket. While the purists whined, it prompted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to look for ways to bring innovations in the traditional forms — Tests and ODIs.

If they were not enough, the multi-million-dollar franchise-based domestic league, which Modi executed for the first time in 2008, also helped cricket establish some sort of a foothold on the global sporting map, so dominated by football and tennis.
But what followed was a string of controversial episodes that brought the high-flying administrator down to earth.

Modi’s decline started after the 2010 IPL bidding which saw the creation of two new teams — Pune and Kochi. Modi revealed the ownership details of the Kochi franchise on Twitter leading to the resignation of the then Minister of State for foreign affairs Shashi Tharoor.

Modi’s act allegedly breached the confidentiality agreements between the board and the IPL franchises.

Modi was suspended as chairman and Commissioner of the IPL in April 2010. A suspension notice and a 34-page letter stating 22 charges of impropriety were served via email to Modi.

He claimed innocence all through, defending himself mostly on Twitter and television channels but never appeared in person to face the BCCI committee.

Modi was suspended under Rule 32(iv) of the board’s constitution on April 25, 2010, seconds after the IPL final held in Mumbai. The Board then slapped three show cause notices on him. He replied to all of them.

The BCCI disciplinary committee, comprising Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia, submitted a 134-page report in July in which it had found Modi guilty on eight charges, including financial irregularities, indiscipline and “actions detrimental to the interest of the BCCI”.