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Another Modi bravado

Another Modi bravado
Highlights

He is a near untouchable in the Indian context. A red alert has been sounded for him for his alleged involvement in multi-crore scams during the years, when, as the czar who could do no wrong, he gifted the cricketing world with a well-conceptualised money-spinner which spelt win-win for all and sundry.

He is a near untouchable in the Indian context. A red alert has been sounded for him for his alleged involvement in multi-crore scams during the years, when, as the czar who could do no wrong, he gifted the cricketing world with a well-conceptualised money-spinner which spelt win-win for all and sundry.

As the extra-constitutional authority enjoying sweeping powers, none could dare touch Lalit Modi, leave alone plotting his dismissal. He enjoyed an enviable position, one which he used effectively. His position was similar to football managers and coaches who enjoyed a bigger stardom than the players. Modi could summon the biggest of cricketing names and celebrities from the world of entertainment with a snap of his finger.

One either loved him or hated his flamboyance that gained entry to the most guarded gates but none could ignore the overbearing Modi persona till everything fell asunder and he fled the country amid large-scale corruption charges. This after alleging that ICC was targeting him at the behest of the then BCCI president, N Srinivasan.

The rise and fall may have been meteoric but Modi has not changed one bit, unfortunately so for the game, whichever way one looks at the developments. The brash mannerisms and verbose that border on a sense of blackmail seem to have intoxicated his mindset to such an extent that he cannot do or talk anything that is ordinary and mundane even now when he is hounded.

There is something significantly special about his stature. Despite being on the Most Wanted list back home, he makes no pretensions while talking to the media, even as he is being discussed, debated and ridiculed in Indian Parliament. There is no room for any doubt that Modi, a perfect blend of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, has been the poster boy and bad boy of sports administration, almost simultaneously.

He has shown that he has extraordinary guts, a quality that is once again set to rock the cricketing world, which has been hit by rebellion every other decade. His utterances on Monday that the International Cricket Council (ICC) would have to gear itself against a tsunami that is likely to sweep it aside with immense money and player power indicate that he is positioning himself as the boss of a new league.

Although, he did warn of a rival multi-million governing body for cricket that could challenge ICC’s monopoly, it is only now he has announced his association with the rebel body. The administrators are worried over the possible fallout, should such an eventuality transpire. However, contrary to the apprehensions, it will not be doomsday for the sport for the simple reason that cricket has been a strong believer of history, tradition and continuity, irrespective of the rebellions, the Packers, Modis, and South African rebel tours.

The ambitious hub that Modi is talking about will either be a non-starter or may just about alter the landscape for a while, before tradition makes a glorious comeback like in the past. That is the great unifying charm of cricket.

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