Two men have effectively been steering Indian cricket’s ship over the past few years. One of them is a liar. Which one? And can the game afford to have either in a position of power? Despite not being the figurehead, Lalit Modi was the prime mover for a half decade, the man who wheeled and dealed, set up the Indian Premier League and was then ousted based on misdemeanours that have yet to be proved. N Srinivasan is the board secretary, the man now as influential and powerful as Modi once was. Given his ownership of the Chennai Super Kings, through India Cements, he has been at the centre of conflict-of-interest allegations for a while now. But with the gloves off and open hostility between the two men, there are so many skeletons tumbling out of the cupboard that they could remake Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
Last week, a TV channel released emails that suggested the 2009 IPL auction had been fixed so that the Super Kings could sign Andrew Flintoff, who then turned out to be the biggest waste of money in the fledging league’s history. Modi later told Cricinfo that Srinivasan and the Super Kings “pressurised the [IPL] operating team”. When he was asked if other successful bids were less than transparent, he replied: “Yes, to my knowledge”. (more…)
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Posted in cricket, tagged IPL, Lalit Modi on February 14, 2010|
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Unlike many purists and cynics, I love the Indian Premier League and the Champions League, which has the potential to be its big brother. Over the last two years, I’ve been to nearly 50 games in both competitions. Right from the Brendon McCullum blitz in the inaugural game through to the heartwarming displays of Trinidad and Tobago in Hyderabad last year, I’ve seen most of the highs and tolerated some of the lows – the plug-a-minute commentary and Shiamak Davar dancing like an idiot to the anti-apartheid anthem, Gimme Hope, Jo’anna.
Now, the IPL is to spread its wings, and the Champions League will surely follow. The United States is the favoured destination for some matches next year, and it’s the next logical step given that Lalit Modi took the franchise model from American sport. The south Asian and Caribbean population in the US should ensure that it’s no outrageous gamble either.
But for every step forward, Modi and the IPL appear to take one back. (more…)
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