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Why Lalit Modi Will Never Come Back To India

The release of the book ‘Maverick Commissioner’ by Boria Mazumdar, which could also be the basis for a movie on the cricket admin hotshot who invented the IPL, created waves among cricket circles. Laudatory in many parts of the man who dreamed up a professional cricket league that subsequently became such a success as to attract more than a billion dollars a year in TV and digital rights, the book does not however bring out the details of why Lalit Modi remains a fugitive residing in the UK. It is no secret that Modi, the scion of an industrial family with a history pockmarked with eventful incidents in his student life in the USA, will be arrested by the Chennai Police the moment he sets foot in India. There is an embezzlement charge against him pertaining to alleged pocketing of $80 million facilitation fee from a labyrinth of payments of TV rights. A court in Mumbai is said to have ruled very recently in his favour while stating the principle that facilitation fees are part of legitimate deal making. Whether that extends to an individual allegedly taking it at the expense of the game is another matter. There is no denying that Lalit Modi marketed a fantastic product melding cricket, glitz, glamour and big biz that has become a global super hit in 15 years. However, he remains a fugitive.