India news December 16, 2013

Modi enters RCA race, BCCI warns of ban

Lalit Modi has filed his nomination papers for the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections, to be held on December 19, and will stand for the post of president. However, the formal announcement of his decision drew a sharp response from the BCCI; it had recently banned him and on Monday it said it would ban the RCA too if Modi was elected its president.

Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi confirmed the application and claimed that Modi, who represents the Nagaur District Cricket Association, had the backing of 24 of the 33 district cricket associations. Modi has been living in the UK since he was suspended as IPL chairman in 2010.

Asked about the potential for controversy, given the BCCI ban after he was found guilty of "committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline", Abdi was clear that Modi was in the right. "These are the elections of the RCA, not of the BCCI," Abdi told ESPNcricinfo. "What the RCA does within the association under the law is none of the BCCI's business."

Abdi also stated that Modi's decision about coming back to India - he has chosen to stay away, citing a security threat against his life - is something the former IPL chairman had to decide on his own.

"That [coming back to India] is a call he [Modi] has to take and the reason for his not coming to India is well known, it's because of security concerns and it is a sensitive issue for him," Abdi said. "Till the situation alters…it is a call he has to take."

The BCCI's unequivocal stand, though, was made clear in a letter written by its secretary Sanjay Patel to the RCA's incumbent president CP Joshi, who is not standing for re-election. "We find that the Nagaur Cricket Association has allowed Lalit Modi as President. We wish to remind you that as per the BCCI rules and regulations, all the members, including RCA, are bound to follow the decision taken and directives issued in the interest of BCCI, especially those related to disciplinary proceedings," the letter said.

"The RCA stands to lose its rights and privileges as BCCI member if the expelled administrator of BCCI is allowed to remain an office-bearer of one of your district units. Therefore, kindly comply [with the] BCCI directives and report the same to us."

The last time the BCCI banned a senior official was in 2006, when Jagmohan Dalmiya was expelled on charges of embezzling funds during the 1996 World Cup. He was re-admitted within a couple of years and, earlier this year, was appointed to head the board on a de facto basis while the incumbent N Srinivasan stepped aside.

Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mahendra on December 18, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Modi is a Pioneer in India's Sprots Entertainment. He will be back surely. This will bring More cahnges in BCCI too. Some one will have to go.

  • Balaji on December 17, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    This could be the start of a messy legal battle.

  • Jay on December 17, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    @Sammy K: Definitely agree with you. Modi was the 'father' of the IPL, it's first commissioner and care taker. Sure, he did do shady things but he wasn't alone. Power corrupts most people, and cricket officials aren't any different. I feel he deserves a second shot at administration. May it begin at the state level with Rajasthan cricket. If he does good with them, then he could come back to the helm of Indian cricket. Although, I highly doubt that. There are many people within the inner echelons of the BCCI that would like to see the back of Modi for good.

  • TR on December 16, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    It would be good for cricket if BCCI administers at national level and let the states do their local. Decentralization always produces better results. It will also produce more competitive atmosphere among inter states cricket, thus improving the quality of cricket. Especially India is such a huge country with each state bigger than many countries in the world, and there is no way one body (BCCI) can control the quality in so many states.

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    Modi is a majician when it comes to the commercial aspects of cricket. The BCCI must recognise his contributions to the IPL. It was Modi's majic that made the IPL the huge success that it is today. Let there be peace among the warring camps again and the money will flow even more freely. Players would benefit financially. the game would get even bigger and exciting.

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