Lalit Modi returns as RCA president, Sharad Pawar comes out in support

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Lalit Modi, former IPL Chairman and commissioner
Lalit Modi, former IPL Chairman and commissioner

In a dramatic return of sorts, the former IPL czar Lalit Modi and his team, are all set to resume their charge at the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), after rival group’s Amin Pathan officially withdrew his ‘No Confidence Motion’ ,  brought in to remove the four office-bearers. Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra who met the officials of the district cricket associations said, “The 15 districts, who had moved a ‘No Confidence Motion’ against Lalit Modi and three other office bearers had decided to withdraw the motion in the “interest of the game”.

“So there was no need to go with the process of no confidence motion. Lalit Modi faction was elected through proper election and since the no confidence motion has been withdrawn status quo is in place,” Justice Mishra further stated in his media briefing. All the district associations were present in the meeting and supported the withdrawal of the application by Amin Pathan.

The Pathan group had allegedly resorted to muscle power to take control of the RCA office. They reportedly pelted stones on the buses carrying Lalit Modi supporters, but in the end could not muster the 2/3rd majority required to get the fresh motion passed through the 33 affiliated units of Rajasthan CA.

Currently in exile in London, Lalit Modi, who is facing a life ban from BCCI was elected as president of RCA despite warnings of severe consequences by the BCCI and as result of his election as president the  RCA was suspended and was also left out of the domestic cricket calendar.

It took a  High Court order and paved the way for Rajasthan plyers to play in the domestic competitions with senior cricket administrator Amrit Mathur appointed as co-ordinator by the court, with consent of the BCCI.

Despite Modi’s return at the helm, the RCA still faces suspension from BCCI and the court had specifically said that the arrangement regarding the appointment of co-ordinator and the selection of Team Rajasthan would continue till the dispute between the RCA and the BCCI is solved. Till then the players of Rajasthan are in a quandary.

Despite being in exile, Lalit Modi still enjoys some support, and the support is quite significant, given the current equation in the BCCI. This support has come from none other than the Maratha stalwart and former BCCI and ICC president Sharad Pawar. “The credit for IPL’s success should go to Lalit Modi. He shouldn’t be harassed by BCCI officials who are at helm today. I am worried that people can victimise Modi. During his tenure, he has made some enemies,” Pawar told NDTV.

The RCA was suspended by the BCCI after Modi came to power in 2014. “I am thankful to #sharadpawar for his support and kind words,” tweeted Modi.  Interestingly, Pawar too had earlier defended his meeting with Lalit Modi in London saying it was nothing wrong  as he was the BCCI president and Lalit Modi the IPL chairman when IPL was launched in 2008 under Pawar’s tenure as BCCI president.