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Lalit Modi’s new blueprint envisions new cricket world order

MUMBAI: Former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi, who was in the thick of a political storm involving Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje Scindia, has revealed a blueprint that envisages a new world order in cricket.

The blueprint involves challenging the cricket’s current establishment by organising Test and T20 competitions running parallel to the events organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its members and setting. The 50-over one-day internationals will be dumped.

“We’re talking about another cricketing system. There is a blueprint out there. It’s got my rubber stamp on it. I have been involved in it. I say it for the first time, I’ve been involved in putting that blueprint together,” Modi told Australia’s ABC Radio.

It is pertinent to note that Modi was linked to Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra’s global cricket project. However, the maverick cricket administrator had distanced himself from the project denying any links with the project.

“The plan that I have put together is a very detailed plan, it’s not a plan that’s come off the cuff, it’s been taking years and years and years in the making,” he said.

Modi, who is now living in London in exile, said that the blueprint requires “a few billion dollars”, which would not be a big problem to get it into action. “We could take on the existing establishment, no problem,” he said.

The blueprint, which has taken years to ideate, will certainly take off if the current ICC power structure continues to remain loaded in favour of the Big Three—BCCI, Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board.

Under the ICC’s new power structure, India, Australia and England will get the lion’s share of ICC revenue in line with their commercial power. The earlier structure was much more equitable with smaller boards getting a good share from the pie.

“I hope that print [the blueprint] doesn’t take off,” he said. “But if the people can’t continue, then that print will take off and that blueprint will become the world order tomorrow. I guarantee you that, sitting here today.”

Modi’s blueprint only looks at Test and T20 formats leaving out ODI, which he thinks is redundant. “I think that is completely redundant in today’s day and age. I think it should just be T20 and Test matches that should be played,” he added.

The former IPL czar is confident of getting top-class talent for the new competition if it were ready to take off. “There was a report that ran on the front of The Australian newspaper that said ‘$100 million pay cheque for two of your players’,” he said.

“I think that’s an easy cheque to write; I just put it this way. I say, that would be an easy cheque to write, and if that cheque is easy to write then ‘would I get the players or not?’ is a question you should ask the players, not me.”

Even as the big daddy of world cricket has not been in favour of joining the Olympic movement, Modi’s plan envisages cricket’s new governing body being affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“I have been proposing that. The ICC will never agree to that; never means never,” he said.

“That means they would have to do away with the ICC. It is a plan that one day, if I ever implement it, will re-write history in sport. IPL has re-written history in sport in the way it’s marketed. I think this will re-write history once again.”