Ex-IPL boss vows comeback

2014-05-07 11:08
Lalit Modi (AFP)

New Delhi - Lalit Modi, the disgraced founder of the Indian Premier League, vowed on Wednesday to fight to return to cricket administration despite being banned for life from holding any position in the sport.

Modi, who is exiled in London after his passport was revoked by the Indian government over corruption allegations, was finally on Tuesday named president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association following elections last year.

But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which banned Modi for life last September, refused to recognise the results shortly after the Supreme Court allowed them to be announced.

The BCCI, which had been trying to block the announcement, suspended the Rajasthan state association until further notice.

Modi lashed out at the BCCI over Tuesday's decision, saying it was unfairly punishing the Rajasthan association because of a long-running personal grudge against him.

"If they have a problem with Modi, we can deal with that separately," Modi told the Cricinfo website from London.

"But they just can't suspend the association. I have won a democratic election. They just can't say we don't like his face, so ban him.

"I have been in a war with the BCCI for four years. I have won the first battle, but there are many more battles to be won."

Modi said he would likely return to India after the country's general election ends next week when the ruling Congress party are expected to be thrown from power following a decade in charge.

"I will be back soon," Modi said.

"I am sure under a new government there will be no witch hunt like... under the existing one. There is not a single chargesheet filed against me in the last four years."

The BCCI had imposed a life ban on Modi from holding any cricket post after finding him guilty of "serious" acts of indiscipline and misconduct over allegations that he had siphoned off funds.

The life ban came a little over three years after Modi was removed as Indian Premier League chairman and BCCI vice-president following the end in 2010 of the third edition of the popular Twenty20 league.

The 50-year-old scion of a business family, who is also being investigated by the current government on corruption and money-laundering charges, has in the past denied all allegations against him.

The IPL, which began in 2008, is currently embroiled in a spot-fixing and betting scandal, which has caused the Supreme Court to force BCCI chief N Srinivasan to stand down until investigations are completed.

International news organisations, including Agence France-Presse, suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies.

Read more on:    ipl  |  lalit modi  |  cricket

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