Those who live by the sword tend to die by it. Lalit Modi therefore had no illusion of what was coming his way as he was found guilty for a bucketload of villainy fixing the IPL auctions,creating slush funds,manipulating broadcast deals,plotting a parallel IPL with English counties.
From the time he made his entry to cricket administration overthrowing the near-four-decade-old Rungta regime in Rajasthan in 2005 to his pinacle as the IPL chairman in 2008,Modi had earned a reputation as a brash,hard driving,arm twisting and rule bending administrator.
However,his fellow administrators at the BCCI chose to look the other way. Modis indiscretions didnt raise any eyebrows much the same way the current BCCI chiefs dont.
Just four months before Modis scripture quoting departure in the 2010 IPL final,Shashank Manohar,the then BCCI president had said: Modi is doing an excellent job as IPL commissioner and chairman. He is appointed by the general body till 2012,and there is no reason and no power or authority with either of us to remove him.
Modi didnt get banned for his crimes,but because he fell out of favour with the BCCI and when his backers Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan (her replacement as CM by Ashok Gehlot saw a bunch of misapropriation of funds cases filed against Modi) and Sharad Pawar (who moved to the ICC) in the BCCI lost power.
But it isnt the end of the road for Modi just yet because there is always the chance of a second innings at the BCCI. One beneficiary has been BCCIs interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Dalmiya was accused of various financial improprieties during the 1996 World Cup and was subsequently banned by the BCCI Special General Meeting in 2006 on that count.
A successful legal battle later,he has clawed his way back,starting at the CAB and subsequently as N Srinivasans right hand man. Modi too has the same legal avenues open.
While there arent any permanent friends or enemies in Indian cricket,he could take heart from reports that a former backer Pawar might returning to the BCCI through Mumbai cricket.
Jonathan is a senior correspondent based in New Delhi firstname.lastname@example.org
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