Disgraced Indian Premier League (IPL) founder and former chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi was declared the winner yesterday of elections to head a state cricket association in the first step of an unlikely comeback bid.
Modi, who is exiled in London after his passport was revoked by the Indian government over corruption allegations, was finally named president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association following elections in December last year, after the Indian Supreme Court allowed the results to be announced.
The delayed announcement was the result of a legal challenge mounted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the organization behind Modi’s fall from grace four years ago.
There was no immediate comment from the BCCI, which in September last year banned Modi for life from holding any cricket post after finding him guilty of “serious” acts of indiscipline and misconduct.
The governing body also warned the Rajasthan association at the time that it could be suspended from fielding teams in official domestic tournaments, such as the Ranji Trophy, and youth events.
When Modi was banned in September, he held no post in the BCCI, having already been removed as IPL chairman and BCCI vice president after the end of the third edition of the popular Twenty20 league in 2010.
The 50-year-old scion of a business family, who is also being investigated by the government on corruption and money-laundering charges, has in the past denied all allegations against him.
The lifetime ban was unrelated to spot-fixing and betting scandals currently swirling around the IPL, which made the Supreme Court force BCCI head N. Srinivasan to stand down until investigations were completed.
The IPL, which began in 2008, features the world’s top players signed up for huge fees by companies and individuals in a glitzy mix of sport and entertainment.
International news organizations, including Agence France-Presse, have suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI since last year after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies.
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