Lalit Modi set to return to T20 arena with Rajasthan Premier League

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Lalit Modi set to return to T20 arena with Rajasthan Premier League

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Arun S Kaimal

07/15/2016

Although former IPL chairman Lalit Modi is banned for life from all BCCI affairs, he is set for a return to the T20 arena with Rajasthan Premier League. Modi, the President of Rajasthan Cricket Association, is also planning to rope in recently-retired international cricket stars for the league.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the Rajasthan Premier League (RPL) will be a venture similar to the T20 leagues is Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Modi, who was one of the brains behind the cash-rich Indian Premier League, is planning to make RPL a better league than the other state leagues by bringing in international superstars in addition to the domestic players.

However, the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) is yet to approach the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a No Objection Certificate to go ahead with the tournament. But the organisers have already drawn up the plans for the league and is in talks with Ten Sports to broadcast the league, reported the Indian Express.

A top BCCI official stated that although Lalit Modi is banned from the BCCI, the Board is unlikely to stop the league from going ahead.

“They can host the league as it’s a domestic tournament and anyway they are hosting their own inter-district and other tournaments,” an official told the Indian Express.

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They can host the league as it’s a domestic tournament and anyway they are hosting their own inter-district and other tournaments."

Unnamed BCCI official

But, unlike other state associations of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, who have their own T20 leagues, the Rajasthan Cricket Association is facing a suspension from the BCCI. The CCI suspended the RCA in May 2014 after Modi was declared its president.

RCA secretary Sumendra Tiwary confirmed that plans about a T20 league is in the pipelines, but refused to reveal more details.

“It’s in the planning stage and though nothing has been finalised yet, we will decide soon whether to have a T20 league or not. The talks are on,” Tiwary said.

Although he is the RCA President, Lalit Modi has been out of the country since 2010. He left the country after allegations of tax evasion, money-laundering, and proxy ownership linked to the IPL. Since then, Modi has refused to return to India, alleging death threats from the underworld. But, Tiwary confirmed the presence of Lalit Modi, who currently resides in London, in the venture.

“He (Modi) is part of it; after all, he is the president of RCA. Tournament acha he hoga, it will good exposure for the boys. We (RCA) have always welcomed experiments. We are conducting a pink ball four-day game in Rajasthan now, the second association to do it after Bengal. I and Modi are keen to have such kind of innovative ideas. After all, having T20 games will give more exposure to the boys,” said Tiwary, reported the Indian Express.

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