Lalit Modi June 25, 2011

Return of the super-villain

Lalit Modi is back with a case full of deadly Twenty20 leagues

Wednesday, 22nd June You might think that whole ICL business was just a lot of fuss about nothing. But former Cricket South Africa big grapefruit Norman Arendse was on hand today with a timely history lesson. Back in 2007 premier league proliferation was a deadly threat. The cricket world stood on the very brink of chaos. There were fears that it would be like Kerry Packer all over again, only without the flared trousers.

“Actually, with money, they could start a league on the moon and it would work.”

A figure of speech surely? Maybe. Or maybe not. Leaked documents from the BCCI’s Committee on Fantasy Scenarios reveal that at the time the organisation was deeply worried about the threat of lunar Twenty20. Working closely with NASA, they had begun construction of Megalomania 1, the world’s first Interplanetary Premier League Detection Satellite, capable of seeking out and litigating against unsanctioned franchise-based league forms anywhere in the solar system.

Thanks to their unhinged paranoia, the deadly threat was averted and the world was kept safe from the horror of unofficial limited-overs cricket.

Thursday, 23rd June So finally, New Zealand have a captain. Sensibly, they appear to have gone for the one with the fewer tattooes. As far as I am aware there has never been a successful, extensively-tattooed international cricket captain, although in this case “as far as I’m aware” isn’t very far at all. Still, I think we can be fairly sure that Don Bradman’s biceps were not plastered with the names of his nephews and nieces, nor did Clive Lloyd have “Made in Guyana” scrawled across the back of his neck.

As protracted decisions go, this one was the daddy of them all, weighing in at a hefty 84 days. General elections don’t usually last that long, although admittedly, they aren’t usually as important. It would be unfair to criticise too much as I don’t know the precise details of the selection process, but I do have it on good authority that it was John Wright who flipped the coin and Mark Greatbatch who called.

Friday, 24th June So the BCCI is not going to play ball. Indian players cannot play in the Sri Lankan Premier League, not even if they really really want to, not even if they get handwritten permission from their mothers and book their own flights. FICA are okay with it. The boards of Pakistan, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are okay with it. The ICC is okay with it. But the BCCI say no. Why should this be?

“The Indian Board told us they couldn’t send their players for SLPL,” said the Sri Lankan minister for sport, “because they felt Modi is involved in this event.”

Modi.

Yes, the super villain is back. Somewhere in a top-secret lair, the founder of Modi Industries is plotting. To be honest, his latest scheme for world cricket domination is quite similar to his previous scheme for world cricket domination. But it’s a good one. Unless the BCCI accede to his demands, he will launch a deadly series of Twenty20 leagues on the world, starting with the SLPL. Can nobody stop him?

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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