A brilliant explosion that faded slowly: Lalit Modi's rise to fame and his fallout with BCCI

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2015 13:13 IST

Lalit Modi’s arrival in the Indian cricketing world was like the IPL catchphrase — a case of ‘talent meets opportunity’. With the successful execution of the 2009 IPL in South Africa, he was hailed as the new messiah of Indian cricket among a powerpacked team of high profile BCCI officials that included a cabinet minister at the centre, a wealthy businessman and a renowned criminal lawyer.

Lalit Modi’s talent to squeeze commerce worth billions of rupees out of plain TV deals and raking in big money after compartmentalizing and selling various rights of the Indian team, won him many fans within and outside the BCCI. Grandstanding and razzmatazz helped him make the IPL one of the top premier leagues in the world. Things went on like a surreal script.

Walking ahead of himself, Modi cracked deals almost always on his own. Terminating the Sony-MSM television contract led to an out-of-court-settlement with MSM where a ‘facilitation fee’ of $80 million was alleged to have been paid to Modi, which the BCCI later claimed that it was not aware of.

A bid rigging case was brought against Modi as he allegedly tried to rig the bid in favour of Adani and Videocon. Around the same time, Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s request for the Kochi franchise was spurned by Lalit Modi.

Allegations of Modi's collusion with unscrupulous elements to float an IPL- like model in England and the UAE, his run-in with a senior police officer in Jaipur and upsetting top ministers in the UPA government by taking the IPL out of India added to the general discomfort within the BCCI.

Lalit Modi's cumulative transgressions brought him 22 counts of impropriety leading to his suspension from the BCCI soon after the IPL final in 2010. A disciplinary hearing by a committee comprising Arun Jaitley and Jyotiraditya Scindia eventually handed him a life ban.


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