A day after Lalit Modi got his passport back and the permit to return to India, the former Indian Premier League commissioner told NDTV on Thursday that he would continue to fight the wrongs in Indian cricket but that he was not interested in becoming the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Modi, a former vice-president of the BCCI, was banned for life by the Indian cricket Board in September 2013 - three years after the regional passport office in Mumbai had revoked his passport. On Wednesday though, a division bench of Delhi High Court restored the passport, paving the way for Modi's return to the country and seeking a possible re-entry into cricket administration. "It has been a long, hard battle but I stand vindicated and will continue to fight the good fight," he said, adding that becoming the chief of BCCI was not his objective. "Do I want to be the BCCI president under the current cloud? Out of the question."
Clarifying that he remains committed to fighting corruption in cricket, Modi even said that he would quit cricket administration if the findings of the Mudgal commission give a clean chit to those charged with corruption and malpractices during IPL 2013. "There is a need to clean cricket thoroughly. I will wait for the findings of Mudgal commission. If they are not in favour of cricket, I will hang my boots completely." A probe panel led by retired judge Mukul Mudgal is looking into allegations of corruption in IPL.
While the probe has been taking its own course, Modi contested the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections in December last year. Riding a controversial Rajasthan Sports Act, Modi contested the president's post and won with comprehensive ease. The RCA elections were supervised by court officers. The BCCI promptly suspended Rajasthan with Modi still in UK.
In fact, Modi was granted residence in UK after his passport was revoked. He had appealed to the British authorities that his passport was wrongly cancelled and his appeal was upheld by three courts in the UK. Asked of his plans of returning to India now that his passport was restored, Modi said that he is looking forward to the journey back but has to wait for security checks. "I have always been concerned about the security of my family. I am yet to receive the green signal but will return when I do," he said.
Modi also said he had nothing to worry as far as coming back home was concerned. "There are no charges against me, just allegations. (But) I would be glad to answer any questions or interrogations."
Earlier this year, Modi got a travel permit to travel to Europe but that was given on humanitarian grounds since he was taking one of his family members to Portugal for treatment.
While ED has no more cases against Modi, his name features in the FEMA violations case against the BCCI because he was an office bearer when the second edition of the IPL was held in South Africa in 2010. His return to India is also likely to have an impact on BCCI elections - scheduled in September. Modi, however, cleared that he expects the elections to be postponed.