Former IPL boss Modi breaks silence


NEW DELHI: The former head of the Indian Premier League has said he is the victim of a “witch hunt”, in his first major interview since being forced from office, amid a barrage of corruption allegations.
Lalit Modi, the brash driving force behind the money-spinning IPL, was removed as the chairman of the hugely popular cricket tournament and other senior positions in the national game in September.
Last month India’s cricket body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), lodged a complaint with police over alleged misappropriation of funds totalling 4.68 billion rupees (106 million dollars) during IPL events. Police in the southern city of Chennai, where the BCCI is based, registered a case against Modi on charges including “criminal conspiracy, cheating and falsification of accounts.”
“What I did was absolutely by the book,” Modi told former BBC sports journalist Mihir Bose in an interview posted on Modi’s personal website and YouTube late Thursday.
There was no immediate comment from the BCCI. Since the allegations surfaced Modi has been in London amid pressure from Indian authorities to return home to speak to investigators.
The probe “is like a witch hunt by people jealous of my success,” he said, adding he was cooperating fully with Indian investigating agencies through teleconferences. Modi, who says he faces death threats from unnamed people, promised to return to India “as and when I feel secure.”