The former Indian Premier League chairman and the 'brain' behind the successful Indian T20 league, Lalit Modi, was handed a life ban by the BCCI on Wednesday. In its Special General Meeting in Chennai on Wednesday, the Board discussed a report filed by its disciplinary committee and decided to impose the ban. (Lalit Modi expelled for life by BCCI, can appeal ban in court)
While the BCCI has huddled together and termed the ban as an unanimous decision, Modi stays defiant as ever. In fact, he is all set to witness Luis Suarez's return to competitive football later today. (Update: United spoil Suarez's return) Talking to NDTV, Modi was fiery and feisty, blaming the BCCI for the mess in Indian cricket while distancing himself from all the allegations. (Life ban on Modi was an unanimous decision)
NDTV: You just tweeted a while back, got to go to Manchester for a Man U vs Liverpool League Cup match. You don't seem concerned.
"Absolutely! I am not concerned at all. A 'vested-interest' committee was set up against me. They did not allow me to appear even. We have people here who facilitate match-fixing. I'd rather stay out of it and go after them than sit on the same table with them."
Too many requests for interviews today. Got to go to Manchester for Man U vs Liverpool - so Arnab will be last show today- Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) September 25, 2013
NDTV: How do you now intend to respond. You have been expelled on serious charges of irregularities, misconduct and indiscipline.
"I'm not perturbed about it at all. It was all expected. I have always said they will ban me. A band of crooks has banned me but I will deal with it on a day-to-day basis. I'm a fighter and looking forward to a good fight."
NDTV: You had also appealed to the Supreme Court. SC though negated that matter as an internal one of the BCCI. Are you disappointed?
"Not really. Supreme Court has probably said that let them (BCCI) do what they want to and you come back to us later. This matter is far from over yet. Games have just begun. I am not running away."
NDTV: Then why are you not in India?
"I would rather be sitting here answering your questions than be shocked in India. There is a credible threat and police know about. The threat in London is less compared to India. The game of cricket has been taken over by the mafia."
NDTV: Allegations against you - rigged bids, brought BCCI to disrepute, are quite serious. What's your take?
"I have raised over 47,000 crores for the BCCI since joining in September 2005. The current hierarchy has made BCCI lose 10,000 crore. I know I have a clean heart and I know what I have created. They have only looted."
NDTV: What mistakes did you make along the way?
"There was no legacy when I took over the charge of IPL. But we made mistakes. We should have tightened the rules for franchise ownership, we should not have allowed Guru/Srini and likes of those who are administrators to be owners."
NDTV: Do you believe that the tweet against Shashi Tharoor was your point of downfall?
"I would do that again. I have no regrets. The minister was doing wrong and I exposed him."
NDTV: Is this the end of Lalit Modi in Indian cricket administration
"It is just the beginning of cleaning up of cricket. It is a great day. It gives me the chance to go after each and every member now. I will fight them all the way."