New Delhi – India's cricket chiefs on Saturday vowed to enforce a life-long ban on Lalit Modi after the disgraced Indian Premier League founder contested elections for a state association in absentia.
Modi, who lives in self-exile in London with his passport revoked by the Indian government on corruption charges, had contested for the post of president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) on December 19.
Results for the Supreme Court-monitored elections will be declared by the apex court on January 6, but the Modi faction has already claimed support of 25 of the 33 district units in the state.
The elections had angered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which in September had banned Modi for life from holding any cricket post after finding him guilty of “serious” acts of indiscipline and misconduct.
An emergency meeting of the BCCI's powerful working committee in Chennai on Saturday termed the RCA as a “delinquent” member and voted to keep Modi out of cricket administration.
“It was noted that Lalit Modi had contested for the post of president in the elections of the Rajasthan Cricket Association notwithstanding his expulsion,” the BCCI said in a statement after the meeting.
“Subject to the decision of the Supreme Court, strict disciplinary action should be taken against the delinquent member while protecting the interest of the game in the state of Rajasthan.”
The BCCI had earlier warned the state association that it could be suspended from sending teams for official domestic tournaments like the Ranji Trophy and age-group events.
The RCA defended the elections saying they were conducted as per the instructions of the Supreme Court which had allowed Modi to contest.
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 life ban was unrelated to the spot-fixing and betting scandals currently swirling around the IPL which has led to players, book makers and others being charged over their alleged involvement.
Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of current BCCI chief N. Srinivasan and a former team principal of IPL side Chennai Super Kings, is among those charged with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy over the betting scandal.
Apart from the court cases, a three-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the scandal is expected to submit its report early next year.
The IPL, which began in 2008, features the world's top players signed up for huge fees by rich business houses and individuals in a glitzy mix of sport and entertainment.
International news organisations, 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. –Sapa-AFP