'Where were the anti-corruption units of ICC and BCCI?
Former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi tells that IPL, BCCI, ICC and world cricket are run from Chennai and nowhere else in Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts.
With international-level players like Sreesanth getting caught in spot fixing, don’t you thing that the IPL plant that you planted is drying up, almost to death?
This incident is very serious for cricket and a black spot on the game. When we used to run IPL, we were very careful of such things. We had a zero tolerance policy towards the fixing issue. I feel saddened after the revelations made by the Delhi Police in spot fixing scandal.
You were founder commissioner of IPL. One year ago, five players were under the scanner for fixing. When you set up the system of buying players in auction, didn’t you have a screening process to select the right ones?
We had thought that all players should have good income. Hence, we chose the auction method. The players are earning good money, but if somebody’s intentions are bad, how can that be known? That can only be known if you keep on investigating continuously. Create a situation where bookmakers can’t come in association with them and influence them.
The action was taken by the police. Where was IPL’s internal mechanism? Don’t you think that members and administrations should have kept check on such things? But they didn’t.
We had anticipated, and hence I was pressurised on this issue. There were life attempts on me because of my stance on the issue. Today, I cannot tell you what’s happening. But when I was there (as IPL commissioner), we had a zero tolerance policy and we used to check day and night that any match should not be fixed or any player should not be involved in such issues. We had made a foolproof system. It is saddening that the police had to do this operation. Where are the anti-corruption units of the ICC and BCCI? How didn’t they come to know when these things were going on for a month?
N Srinivasan has said that they have zero tolerance for such issues; everybody, including Rajiv Shukla said the same. To what extent has brand IPL been affected due to this incident?
It has been affected badly. Srinivasan saab said they have zero tolerance; then I want to ask him and the ICC, was he sleeping till now? For one month, police were investigating.
Mumbai Police had said that you had threats from Dawood Ibrahim’s gang. Did Dawood pressurise you to fix matches? Even today there is a talk that Dawood’s people are involved in match fixing.
They did not pressurise me; they wanted to gun me down. If they were able to pressurise me, why would they attempt to kill me?
Did you get support in curbing this (fixing) from BCCI?
Did others in IPL support you?
You are founder of IPL, who is responsible according to you and what should happen?
This is just a bubble; there is more to it than meets the eye. One should look into this seriously; the agencies have to look into this very seriously.
You were full-time IPL commissioner; you didn’t do any other work. Today we don’t have a full-time IPL commissioner, because the incumbent, Rajiv Shuklaji, is a minister. Do you think this has resulted in weak administration?
Today, IPL, BCCI, ICC and world cricket are run from Chennai and nowhere else. All people are associated with Chennai-based N Srinivasan and nobody else has a say. There is a big conflict here. I don’t want to keep harping on Mr Srinivasan, but that is a fact.
These days, media is blamed by politicians. Even you are doing the same, but tell me, what is the problem in IPL today—Srinivasan, politicians, Rajiv Shuklaji, or anybody else? Who is the villain in this whole thing today?