Dismissing reports of non-bailable arrest warrants having been issued against him, Indian Premier League (IPL) founder Lalit Modi has revealed plans to set up an organisation which would rival the International Cricket Council (ICC).
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 ICC is presently chaired by India’s nominee, ex-BCCI chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan. Modi is regarded as 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,” Lalit Modi said in an interview to Four Corners programme of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation titled ‘The Great Cricket Coup’ which went to air on Monday evening.
“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 added.
“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.”
Modi, a controversial figure, lives in virtual exile in England. He 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).
Last week a special court in Mumbai issued non-bailable warrants to arrest the former cricket boss at the request of India’s Enforcement Directorate. Modi is accused of laundering money in awarding television rights of the IPL 2009.
Srinivasan had also filed a complaint against Modi in 2010 accusing him of fraud and money laundering.
Modi did not try to conceal his sentiments for Srinivasan or the body he represents. “They are three snakes of cricket. You’ve got to take their neck off, you’ve got to chop their head off, otherwise cricket will not survive,” he said while referring to India, England and Australia.
Modi also revealed his plan to involve International Olympic Committee in his grand plan.
“I have been proposing that. The ICC will never agree to that; never means never. That means they would have to do away with the ICC. It is a plan that one day, if I ever implement it, will re-write history in sport,” he said.
“IPL has re-written history in sport in the way it’s marketed. I think this will re-write history once again.”
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 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.