Mumbai: Lalit Modi has been suspended from the post of IPL chairman, But how long can he continue the fight and can the man who was behind the phenomenal success of the IPL bounce back?
Abandoned by all his friends, excepting IS Bindra who stood by him, Modi knew his time was up even as the IPL final was being played in front of his eyes. He still smiled for the cameras, but it was the smile of a beaten man.
Ironically, his last act as IPL chairman was the hand the trophy over to the captain of a team owned by one his most bitter foes - N Srinivasan's Chennai Super Kings.
Modi's blackberry by this time had already received the e-mail of BCCI President Shashank Manohar booting him out after charging him with fraud, embezzlement and acts of misdemeanour.
But Modi wasn't willing to go down tamely. In an impassioned speech, made to a massive TV audience, he counter punched in true Modi style.
"We had some off field unpleasant dramas only based on innuendos, half truths and motivated leaks from all types of sources. I assure you all decisions have been jointly taken by the Governing Council and approved by the General Body in year one and two of the IPL. Still as leader of the team I assure you that if there is any flouting of the rules and regulations and any other irregularity I shall take full responsibility," Modi said at the post-final ceremony on Sunday night.
But the bravado had to end. A forlorn Modi walked out of Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium, besieged by an eager media that he seemed to have no stomach to face.
"It has been a long and tiring event. Thank you," was all he said.
Since then Modi has chosen to stay silent and hasn't been seen in public. His legal defence though gave a first hint of the strategy being formulated to hit back at his opponents.
"To say that they didn't know anything that was happening in the IPL for the last three years, only a fool would buy such a story. If they were not doing the duty as members of the Governing Council they should also go. Lalit Modi did not do any thing wrong by tweeting the names of the person involved in the bidding. If at all they had to be kept in confidentiality, it smacks of some corrupt deal," ace lawyer Satish Maneshinde said.
Modi made the cricket world dance to his tune. Now he is as unwelcome in the BCCI office as anyone ever has been in Indian cricket. Modi faces a huge test to emerge from the ashes of this debacle to become relevant to Indian cricket again.
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