Lalit Modi planning rival body to overthrow world cricket establishment

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Sydney, Aug 10 (IANS) Former Indian administrator Lalit Modi claims to be master-minding a complete overhaul of the world cricket establishment by forming a rival governing body to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to run the sport.

Modi has claimed that the new body will be affiliated with the Olympic movement, overseeing new Test and T20 competitions, and will scrap One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is presently chaired by India’s nominee, ex-BCCI chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan. Modi is regarded to be a rival of Srinivasan.

“We’re talking about another cricketing system. There is a blueprint out there, it’s got my rubber stamp on it,” he was quoted as saying by on Monday.

“I have been involved in it. I say it for the first time, I’ve been involved in putting that (blue)print together. The plan conceives only of Test cricket and T20; it doesn’t take into account one-day at all,” he said.

“I think that is completely redundant in today’s day and age. I think it should just be T20 and Test matches that should be played,” he added.

Modi, a controversial figure, is credited with the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. He now lives in virtual exile in England.

He also said that he has been involved in discussions for a long time to set up a new governing body for cricket.

“The plan that I have put together is a very detailed plan. It’s not a plan that’s come off the cuff… it’s been taking years and years and years in the making.”

Modi was fired from his job as IPL commissioner in 2010. In 2013 he was banned for life from playing any role in cricket administration by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

He is now being investigated for his alleged involvement in money laundering. A warrant for his arrest was issued last week by a court in Mumbai at the request of the Enforcement Directorate. Modi has denied all the allegations against him.

Modi has been for long a critic of ICC’s and BCCI’s mode of functioning and said he had it in him to provide an alternative to world cricket’s structure.

“We could take on the existing establishment, no problem. It requires a few billion dollars, I don’t think it would be a problem to get that … into action. But it could be done,” the 49-year-old said.

Modi told ABC that he doubted reports of wholesale reforms to be undertaken by the ICC for its smooth functioning.

“I hope that (blue)print doesn’t take off,” he said.

“But if the people can’t continue, then that print will take off and that blueprint will become the world order tomorrow. I guarantee you that… sitting here today.”

Modi also said there would no hindrance to a rival breakaway body being established as the ICC is run as a members’ club, and not a governing body.

He also doesn’t see any problem in paying huge sums to marquee players for their association.

“There was a report that ran on the front of The Australian newspaper that said ‘$100 million pay cheque for two of your players’,” he said.

“I think that’s an easy cheque to write; I just put it this way. I say, that would be an easy cheque to write, and if that cheque is easy to write then ‘would I get the players or not’ is a question you should ask the players, not me.”

Modi’s revelation comes at a time when there are growing calls for T20 cricket to be played at the Olympics.

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