Tim May has proved the ICC is being bullied
By Lalit K Modi, 9th May, 2013
The current reaction to rumours that the BCCI may have exerted undue influence to oust a very capable administrator from the ICC, is a sure sign to me that people have just about had enough of the BCCI and that the ICC must do something about it. They probably won’t.
Former Australian Test player, Tim May lost his place on the ICC’s Cricket Committee on Monday to former Indian leg spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishan, amidst allegations that the BCCI put pressure on other boards to ensure the 10 Test playing nation’s captain’s voted for ‘their’ man. The result was Mr. Sivaramakrishan was voted in.
Newspapers across the globe have been reflecting indignation, anger and fury, to such an extent that the saying ‘no smoke without fire’ springs immediately to mind. One report in New Zealand even went as far as to use the word; ‘corruption’. (You can read the stories by clicking on the links at the end my blog)
If the rumours of coercion are true, then it’s madness. The unilateral bullying tactics the BCCI continues to employ at every turn will simply ruin the game. I’ve been saying it for ages and now there’s more evidence from a different part of the world. The ICC is supposed to be the body that oversees squeaky clean governance and at the very least, it must surely investigate the issue if it is to retain any credibility across world cricket.
The Australian Cricketer’s Union has reacted to all this by saying the ICC is the “most ineffective governing body in world sport.” At the time of writing it isn’t ruling out industrial action and it’s chief executive Paul Marsh also said they wanted the ICC to act but was, “pessimistic that it will do so.” It is both frightening for the game of cricket and also generally sad when players and administrators across the world can shout as loud as they want, but have little chance of being heard.
I know the feeling.
Tim’s downfall seems to have been that he has been vocal in his dislike of BCCI tactics - he’s not alone there - and one obvious area where there was complete discord was on the issue of DRS. Tim has always been a supporter, the BCCI of course, is not. And what is one of the areas of responsibility this particular committee oversees? You’ve guessed it, DRS. It might not be the most important item under the committee’s remit, but it does tell a glaringly obvious tale.
I do not blame Laxman Sivaramakrishan. He is a pawn in someone else’s game. But the ICC surely has to act amidst the fury being vented from the southern hemisphere. Tim May has since been quoted as saying; “"We want the ICC to take notice and police their own processes, and not just turn their back on stuff that they are fully aware of. It's time someone stood up to this cancer.”
I admire Tim for standing up and saying it how it is. It's true to say that we didn't always see eye to eye when I was at the IPL but he was always a professional and committed cricket official. This is not a man with an axe to grind simply because he lost a vote. This is an administrator who cares passionately about the game of cricket and is fearful for its future in the face of weak governance. I know how he feels.
Ousted May slams ICC 'Cancer
Times of India
Security threat and a game of hide and seek by the Indian Authorities
Lalit K Modi, 27th November 2012
On 3rd December, 2010, I made an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to obtain documents that would prove beyond all doubt, how government authorities have suppressed and manipulated information about me in order to publicly mis-represent my motives.
Ministry Of External Affairs - The Facts
By Lalit K Modi 19th November, 2012
Lalit Modi Statement
Following recent stories of a renewed level of activity surrounding theÂ Enforcement Directorate's ongoing investigations into the IPL,Â I wish to clarify that my co-operation with the E.D. remains full and unequivocal. This has included five consecutive days of meetings with Indian Income Tax department representatives in London during which they were given full documentation to support our discussions.
All eyes on Sri Lanka
By Lalit K Modi, 20th September, 2012
As the person who presented the IPL to the world, you'd expect me to be full of enthusiasm and anticipation for the ICC Twenty/20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and I'm certainly not about to disappoint!
Why changing the constitution is just wrong
The troubled BCCI has been keeping ominously quiet about an apparent point for discussion at their meeting in Chennai on Saturday. In recent weeks, there has been news of unease from commercial partners, financial issues with IPL franchises and a general malaise surrounding the IPL product itself which they show little or no signs of attacking.
A Question of Trust
By Lalit K Modi - 9th September, 2012
The BCCI meets in Chennai next weekend, knowing it has many problems to solve and the list appears to be getting longer and longer by the day. The Deccan Chargers issue is the latest problem that's dragging the IPL through the mud, but as well as that, sponsors are fleeing and new partners appear reticent to jump on board a ship that the beleaguered crew is finding harder and harder to steer.
Deccan Chargers case is a test of resolve
By Lalit K. Modi - 6th September, 2012
As the future of the Deccan Chargers remains shrouded in doubt, there was an interesting article in today's edition of the Hindustan Times asking wether the sheen is wearing off the IPL. (You can read the full piece by clicking here)
Time for the IPL Governing Council to prove its worth
By Lalit K. Modi - 23rd August, 2012
There's a vitally important period of negotiation ahead for the IPL management team if they're to ensure the tournament isn't starved out of existence as top-level, globally attractive tournament. It's now the time for sponsorship contracts to be renewed and as, I understand it, only two partners have renewed so far; Vodafone and Volkswagen.
Giles Clarke Press Release
âIn May 2010 Giles Clarke CBE, Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, sent an email to the President of the Board of Control for Cricket In India, the contents of which were subsequently widely reported in the British and international media which resulted in libel proceedings being issued by Lalit Modi. This statement confirms that the parties have agreed to settle the litigation on confidential terms.â
Usain Bolt.: The highlight so far of a magnificent spectacle.
Lalit K Modi
What a fantastic exhibition of sporting excellence the London Olympics is proving to be and how wonderful that a small island such as Jamaica has played its part in writing another part in olympic history. I'm writing this blog the day after after the Men's 100 metres final which was simply superb. The atmosphere was electric and the excitement shown by fans all over the world was truly rewarded.
India V Pakistan is a step forward
By Lalit K Modi, 20 July 2012
I do hope the prospective return of competitive cricket between India and Pakistan isnât scuppered at the last turn.
The governments of both countries have been discussing the possibility on a regular basis and for reasons you will all know, it is a delicate subject which deserves a careful, steadfast approach. It is a decision that would transcend beyond just the game of cricket. On a much wider scale, it is an opportunity for sport to show its unifying capability against heavily stacked odds and I believe a December tour by Pakistan to India would be a positive step forward - providing the terms are right for both countries. But that is a potential sticking point.
The King's are 'dead'. Long live the kings!
By Lalit K. Modi, 28th May, 2012
So Kolkata Knight Riders are this year's IPL champions, and how they deserve it! The odds were stacked against them but they pulled through, played some amazing cricket and sent out a powerful message about a tournament that has been dragged through the mud over the last few weeks.
Don't just sit there, DO something
By Lalit K. Modi - 23rd May, 2012
So the IPL's governing Council is apparently going to sit and assess the state of the IPL after this tournament is over. I hope they will consider changing some of the things that, frankly, they shouldn't have changed in the first place!
IPL spot fixing? The BCCI MUST wrap this up now
By Lalit K. Modi - 16th May, 2012
The last few days of spot fixing allegations against players involved in the IPL, and the subsequent BCCI activity, has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons, but the BCCI needs to sort it out quickly for the benefit of the tournament's integrity and future welfare.
In praise of Lalit Modi
M J Akbar
A question has left me wondering about an answer: how incendiary is the combination of great ideas with great luck? History must be full of sensational ideas that withered because they did not possess the luck that attracts capital, or finds the right moment when it can flower.
Cairns appeal formalised in London
Lalit Modi has today formally launched appeal proceedings against the judgement in his libel case with former New Zealand cricket captain, Chris Cairns.
London High Court annuls bankruptcy order
Lalit Modi's position on a bankruptcy order he maintained "should never have been made" has been vindicated after it was annulled in the High Court in London.
A disappointing start to an exciting journey!
By Lalit K. Modi - 4th April, 2012
The IPL is back!
By Lalit K. Modi - 2nd April, 2012
Case against Giles Clarke stands
By Lalit K. Modi - 22nd February, 2012
Following the news that ECB Chairman, Giles Clarke has settled a libel case brought by global sports management firm, IMG in London, I've received many messages from people wanting to know if that means the identical case I brought against him has been settled too.
One man's ego is costing BCCI crores!
By Lalit K. Modi - 6th February, 2012
Ego has a voracious appetite, the more you feed it, the hungrier it gets. And see how the ego of one man has brought BCCI to the brink of disaster.
Years of effort went into making the BCCI the most cash rich cricket body in the world. This helped us provide players with better infrastructure, coaches, facilities, team staff, stadiums and increased pay.
Kapil should head review, Dravid should be Director of Cricket
By Lalit K. Modi - 26th January, 2012
I read with a lot of interest the statements by BCCI president N Srinivasan on the debacle in Australia.
He says there wonât be any knee jerk reaction, which is good.
He says the tour is yet to get over, which is correct.
He says the team has had just two bad away Test series, which is also correct.
But isnât eight overseas Test losses in a row reason enough to press the panic button and verify what is the matter with the team, with the system and Indian cricket as a whole. Isnât it the time to introspect and face some inconvenient truths?
More woe for the BCCI
By Lalit K. Modi - 21st December, 2011
The collapse of the television deal with broadcaster, Nimbus seems to have entered mysterious waters in the last few days and is another example of the outrageously poor leadership that continues to blight the Indian game.
Optimism for the Australia Tour
By Lalit K. Modi - 9th December, 2011
Virender Sehwag's tremendous innings of 219 in 149 balls against the West Indies in Indore on Thursday has certainly highlighted India's excellent current form.
When sport simply doesn't matter...
By Lalit K. Modi - 28th November, 2011
The weekend's news concerning two international figures has certainly put the world of sport and all it entails, firmly into perspective.
Unlike football, for me it is a matter of life and death
By Lalit K. Modi - 3rd November, 2011
The conviction , in a London court, of three young Pakistani cricketers involved in spot fixing not only shocked cricket lovers but has brought the integrity of the sport into question. More insidious is the realisation that organised crime syndicates sit behind this illegal activity and resort to any measures necessary to make their 'business'' more effective. And this explains why I'm continuing to live in London and perhaps, off the back of these stories, now is the time to explain it further with this blog.
Spot-fixing verdicts - an opportunity for the ICC
By Lalit K. Modi - 2nd November, 2011
The guilty verdicts passed to Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif at the end of the spot fixing trial in London were a significant step in the battle against corruption in sport.
Butt and Asif were each found guilty of conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat, while a third player, Mohammad Amir, pleaded guilty to the same offences at a pre-trial hearing two weeks before the case began. The convictions represent one of the most high profile warnings to anyone - and everyone - who are involved in world sport and who may be tempted into such activity. But in many ways, the hard work starts here.
Three Cheers for Dhoni and the team!
By Lalit K. Modi - 30th October, 2011
Its been an interesting few weeks for India's cricketers and after an extensive 'home and away' series with England, it feels much more comfortable to be an Indian cricket fan now than it was during the summer! Although the final T/20 match in Kolkata went England's way on Saturday, the 5-0 one-day series victory has put the disastrous summer tour to England firmly in the background. The world is suddenly a brighter place for the Indian cricket team.
Sports Award for Lalit Modi
Lalit has this week been officially recognised as one of the world's leading sports innovators at a prestigious International Sports Management Awards evening in London.
The 2011 International Sports Event Management (ISEM) Awards evening at the Wyndham Grand Hotel, rewarded Lalit and IMG Executive Vice-President Andrew Wildblood, for their success in establishing the IPL as a commercially successful, global tournament with the 'Outstanding Contribution Award'.
Kochi - I told you so
By Lalit K. Modi - 20th September, 2011
The BCCIâs termination of the Kochi Tuskerâs IPL franchise for non-payment of a bank guarantee, is a financial mess I predicted over a year ago and one I was prevented from trying to avoid during my time as IPL Commissioner.
Big noise and High stakes in Mumbai
By Lalit K. Modi - 18th September, 2011
The BCCIâs AGM in Mumbai tomorrow (Monday) has been the subject of much public discussion - a fact thatâs hardly surprising given its importance for the future of Indian cricket.
The conjecture surrounding appointments to key positions has focused on the individuals who are apparently concerned, but as soon as the decisions have been confirmed, the focus must turn to what these people are actually going to do.
"The Times" they are a changing!
By Lalit K. Modi - 8th September, 2011
An article in Wednesdayâs edition (7th September) of that much respected newspaper, the Times of India, which reported the BCCIâs responses to an Indian Parliamentary Committee on alleged financial irregularities, certainly made for interesting reading.
The headline read:
âCanât blame all IPL lapses on Modi, admits BCCI Secretary, Srinivasanâ.
For 18 months, the BCCI, largely through the activities of Mr. Srinivasan, have been given free rein to throw countless, false and unsubstantiated allegations in my direction, without any level of accountability. These have included allegations of singular responsibility for contract transactions and even erroneous claims of personal interests in IPL franchises and the Sri Lankan Premier League. All of them, as you well know by now, constantly and strenuously refuted by me with support from substantiated and irrefutable evidence to qualify my position.
Government intervention has no place in sport
By Lalit K. Modi - 1st September, 2011
There has been surprise from many quarters that I should support the BCCI this week against a proposal from the Indian Sports Minister. But frankly, I can't understand why.
The proposal would have provided for unilateral government intervention into the running of all sports in India - including Indian cricket and the BCCI - via the Right To Information (RTI) act and, in my view was completely unwarranted and unnecessary. So I simply said so.
To recap, the Indian Sports Minister, Ajay Maken submitted a proposal for a Bill that targeted sport in general but clearly had the BCCI firmly in its sights. Thankfully, the proposal was voted out in cabinet and won't be carried forward in its present form.
The real reason why India are struggling in England
By Lalit K. Modi - 9th August, 2011
Despite India's defeats in the first Two Tests against England, I'm looking forward to the third Test which starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Its a make or break match for India as another win for England would clinch the series and also put them at the top of the ICC World rankings, replacing India as the number one Test team in the world. As a proud and passionate Indian, any defeat for my own country's cricketers is painful, but the additional disappointment of being replaced at the top of a ranking list would be a bitter blow. There's no denying that India haven't played well in the series so far and the analysis that has followed has been predictable and, of course, justifiable. After all, when a team reaches the top and then under performs, people - not just journalists - look for reasons.
Appeal Hearing Victory!
By Lalit K. Modi - 30th July, 2011
I was delighted to receive news from the Appeal Court in London on Friday, that, together with International Management Group, (IMG) I have won an important appeal that confirms a defamation case against ECB Chairman Giles Clarke, who will now have to defend himself at trial.
Is the BCCI the USSR in disguise?
By Lalit K. Modi - 12th July, 2011
Back in the late 1980's the UK's Prime Minister, John Major, now Lord Major, met with President Brezhnev of the Soviet Union. Mr Major asked Brezhnev how things were in the USSR to which he replied: 'Good'. Mr Major asked his counterpart to embellish a bit. 'Not good' came the reply.
I may be stretching things but I see a number of parallels with this story in the world of cricket and the BCCI's role within it.
First , the 'Good'. Here in England, in a warm midsummer, it's the height of the cricket season with much excitement at the pending arrival of Indiaâs finest for a three-month tour. Four Tests, one T20 and five one-day internationals will provide a great spectacle and fascinating encounters between two sides at the top of their game.
The âwarm-upâ act has been pretty exciting too. Sri Lanka narrowly lost the deciding match at Old Trafford on Saturday in the five-match ODI series and could have registered a formidable 'away' win after taking a 2-1 lead after three matches. Two world-class sides with little to separate them in talent and application. But off the field its a very different story, with Sri Lanka's debt ravaged Cricket Board struggling back home with the latest financial set-back enforced upon them by their nieghbours at the BCCI.
And here's the 'Not good' piece.
The fact the Sri Lankan Premier League Twenty20 tournament has had to be postponed and replaced by a provincial tournament featuring six local teams was no surprise to me. It was a commercial accident waiting to happen from the moment the BCCI refused to allow Indian players to participate. Of course, if they had been allowed to play, there was the prospect of India losing players for the first two Tests with England - at Lordâs and at Trent Bridge. It didnât seem to matter that Sri Lanka agreed to release players to play in the BCCIâs IPL tournament earlier this year and therefore weaken their own squad to tour England. With the BCCI involved, there was to be no âquid pro quoâ here.
So, as a consequence, the Sri Lankans have been forced to replace the SLPL with a tournament involving only local players. The SLPL couldnât happen without the involvement of Indian players, because without them there was no real opportunity to secure broadcasters in the lucrative Indian market. This meant that a tournament without its major attractions, administered by a financially stretched organisation was doomed.
It's my view the BCCI knew this and saw another opportunity to impose their authority on world cricket irrespective of the consequences. A case of; ' I've made up my mind, don't confuse me with the facts'.
And I'm not alone here. Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding was recently quoted on Fox Sports as saying this about the BCCI: âThey have too much power. I do not believe any country should be able to dictate to the rest of the world.â Michael also adds: âOnly the organisation that runs the sport should dictate its path. Individual boards are dictating certain things and thatâs something I canât agree with,â
I couldnât agree with him more. The whole point of being a strong organisation within the cricket world is to support its development and grow the game. I'm not suggesting this should be an act of charity, I'm simply saying it is the imperative of leadership and the reflection of vision and wisdom. Of course, India should benefit, but whatâs the point if all youâre doing is creating a situation that weakens the game elsewhere and subsequently its whole future? What happens if only the strongest survive? The international calendar will be repetitive, boring and commercially unattractive. That is no good to anybody least of all the BCCI.
The potential for that to become reality was also reflected in comments from the former ICC chief Ehsan Mani in a recent article carried by the Associated Press of Pakistan. He said: âIn my time, every country played with every other country in a four-year cycle. That rule has been corrupted.â
Of course a series involving the likes of India and Australia, or South Africa and England is currently commercially more attractive than other fixtures, but without an integrated world system, the game is heading down a slippery slope as more and more sports and other forms of entertainment compete for fans discretionary time and income.
As the true authority for the world game, the ICC must now ensure the smaller nations are not sidelined. Sri Lanka may not have the richest Cricket Board in the world, but they have been blessed with some very talented cricketers who have enriched the world stage. Such nations should be encouraged to help produce more players, better tournaments and a brighter future; not forced to accept scraps from the top table at the whim of those who manipulate the guest list.
So to return to my little story. Is the BCCI in danger of becoming the âUSSRâ of cricket politics? A formidable force, both feared and venerated in its prime, that overstretched itself by trying to impose its values and life style on too many nations and cultures, and in the process lost it all? Maybe I'm stretching the analogy but we all know where the exercise of power instead of influence leads.
In closing, I will admit to a little smile this week, when I realised the significance of Indiaâs opening match in England. Youâll remember, the BCCIâs objection to the SLPL was because they incorrectly suspected my involvement in the company which owned the commercial rights for the tournament? That company was - and is - Somerset Entertainment Ventures. It was an incorrect notion that has since been firmly ridiculed as nothing more than a lame excuse. So how fitting, that Indiaâs first stop on their tour this week, is a warm-up match.... in Somerset!
I do so hope the irony isnât lost on the travelling army of BCCI Executives (or shall we call them âComradesâ ?) -wined, dined and housed in luxury and at great cost -when they are chauffeured, across the county boundary on Friday morning.
Another Bad week for the BCCI
By Lalit K Modi - 26th June 2011
It has certainly been a busy week, but unfortunately, one that hasn't reflected well on the game of cricket. Instead, the tactics of the BCCI are, once again, in focus and Sri Lanka's board has suffered at the hands of their neighbouring 'bully boys'. The beginning of this latest, sorry episode was the suggestion that I was part of the Sri Lankan Premier League set up - an allegation that has resulted in some severe damage to a tournament that starts next month. Its clearly a convenient tactic for the BCCI to use my name to cast a shadow over something they don't approve of.
So, let me say one thing very clearly- I am not involved in the SLPL. Trust me, when I do get involved in another project, you will know all about it!
Time for the ICC to lead on Technology
By Lalit K Modi - 17th June 2011
One of the great things about creating the IPL was the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of development. I got a tremendous buzz out of creating a brand new product which pushed the boundaries of entertainment and sport and some might even say I blurred the boundary between the two. If that's the case, then I'm happy to have done so.
One of my personal motives for setting up the IPL was to provide something unique and exciting and in the four years it has been in existence, I think people will have seen that is certainly the case.
I only hope the league can keep pace with technology and demand for future seasons. That, as they say, is another story.
The IPL was set up to provide entertainment and a feeling of inclusion for spectators. We used the latest ideas and technology, including the Decision Review System (DRS) - and it worked.
No substitute for quality
By Lalit K Modi - 2nd June, 2011
Last weekend presented a great offering of international sport that has re-enforced my belief that when quality is complimented by tension, anticipation and sheer excitement, there is no better way of being entertained. Individual skill and talent can be admired across many different art forms, but when it is supported by the intense competition sport presents, the drama is intoxicating.
Shane Warne; The Legend
By Lalit K Modi - 24th May 2011
The IPL reaches its climax with the final in Chennai on Saturday, but for me, one of the most poignant moments of IPL 4 has already taken place. Rohit Sharma had made a swift 58 for Mumbai Indians against Rajastan Royals, when he was stumped by Pinal Shah, off the bowling of Shane Warne. It was Warnie's last wicket in the IPL as he brought down the curtain on a career of outstanding achievement. Its hard to comprehend that he has now played his last ever competitive match.
Welcome to my new website
By Lalit K Modi - 19 May 2011
Welcome to my new website! And what a time to launch with India recently becoming World Champions and IPL providing plenty of talking points. Throughout my life, I have been a devoted fan of cricket. Cricket is my lifelong passion. It is a sport I have had the privilege of serving and enjoyed watching all over the world. So this new site mirrors my passion for the game and if you're a cricket fan yourself, I hope it will reflect yours too.