Lalit Modi has still not run out of admirers he won while orchestrating the Indian Premier League (IPL). Indian law enforcing agencies may be close to revoking his passport, but there seems to be no dearth of people who are still all ears to him.
How else could one explain the fact that Modi would be sharing the dais with top sports administrators from across the world at the International Sports Event Management Conference in London on November 3.
The likes of Paul Deighton, CEO London Olympics, Dmitry Chernyshenko, Head of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Organising Committee and Danny Jordaan, the man behind the football World Cup, will address the two-day conference.
So far so good! In all fairness, Modi’s contribution in conceptualising and building the IPL into a massive brand in just three years would be worth hearing. What will raise many an eyebrow, however, is that the sacked IPL chief is also scheduled to speak on India hosting the Commonwealth Games and related issues.
He will discuss the cultural and structural issues in the wake of the Delhi Games and how India can become a sporting powerhouse.Even after allowing for his success with the IPL, to have Modi speak on the Commonwealth Games sounds unconvincing.
First, Modi wasn’t even in India when the Games happened. Second, he isn’t known to have dabbled in any other sport than cricket. So, it will be interesting to know his take on something that’s supposedly alien to him.
Those looking forward to Modi’s speech with utmost interest would be the CWG officials. Their response, however, has been quite measured. “If he has been chosen to speak on the Games, let’s see what he’s got to say. Let’s not jump the gun here. After all, despite all allegations, Modi has been a sports administrator. Though he is not involved with CWG, it will be interesting to hear his take,” an OC official told HT.