Friday, 23 April 2010

End of the road-y for Modi?

So it looks like Lalit Modi's empire is crashing down around him. When even your number two is telling the media that he wouldn't mind if you were sacked, you know your probably on the way out. He's always looked a bit shifty, that Modi. My mantra of never trusting someone who uses two blackberries at the same time is clearly been proven.

While this post will be incredibly libellous and may well mean any of my future visa applications to India will be rejected, is anyone really that surprised that Lalit's been fiddling the funds? Sure, nothing's been proved, but he's a wealthy businessman who is in charge of a Twenty20 league. The last one is now in some Texan jail. And that's not the only parallel with Stanford.

To be honest, I don't really understand the scandal. By the sound of it, Lalit posted something on his Twitter revealing that someone's girlfriend gave him some money for a cricket team. This has upset some people, and now that person has had to resign, but this has led to further investigations on the teams, sponsors and broadcasters. And as Lalit was taken in for questioning last week by the tax men, it's not looking good for Mr Modi. As always, the accused has pleaded his innocence, and no doubt the results of any investigations will come to light in future months. However, it would be very difficult either way for Lalit to continue his career. Background scheming from behind Modi (where meetings have been arranged without Modi invited) shows that he will most likely lose his position as IPL Commissioner, and anyone with even a whiff of irregularities about them will have trouble getting any cricketing or business position in the future.

While I have not been Lalit Modi's biggest fan (far from it), you've got to admire his entrepreneurialism, and the fact that he took T20 - a format unsupported in India to the "greatest show on Earth" in the IPL. And whatever you think about whack-it, he's the only person to bring the world's finest together for what is essentially a domestic tournament. While he has undoubtably built up far too much power within the cricketing world, it's never great to see the end of a man's career in the public eye - especially in a country like India where any cricketing news (especially this big) is 24 hour news. Part of me will like watching the smug smirk wiped off Lalit's face, and that there won't be fawning sycophants all over him during IPL games, but my part of my conscious will miss him when he's gone. Lalit Modi won't be IPL Commissioner forever, but his name will live on in cricketing annals. So that's something to console him as he whiles away the next 40 years playing golf.

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