Kaymo’s Korner: Butterfly in India will cause earthquake in SA

2013-10-01 10:00

Lalit Modi’s expulsion from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) leaves me worried ahead of that body’s annual general meeting today.

Modi may have been one of the more corrupt administrators in India but he was a South African ally, which we need in these trying times.

I don’t predict a landslide win for incumbent-in-exile Narayanaswami Srinivasan, despite the match-fixing charges swirling around his Chennai Super Kings team.

But Modi is the one person who would have boxed for Cricket South Africa (CSA).

He was Srinivasan’s sworn enemy and his world unravelled as soon as the Tamil Nadu strongman took over the BCCI reins.

I don’t know how many allies CSA has on the all-powerful board, but without Modi, it’s one less.

Modi’s relationship with CSA is two-pronged: good on the one hand, in that he brought the Indian Premier League (IPL) to South Africa in 2009, which boosted profits for that year; but not so good on the other hand in that he was disgraced former CSA chief executive Gerald Majola’s buddy, and it was his money that ultimately got Majola into trouble.

It’s not something CSA will forget very quickly, besides his massive fall from grace due to his IPL irregularities.

The Rajasthan Cricket Association is not a heavyweight in Indian cricket politics but Modi has done a lot to increase its profile – with an IPL franchise and by bringing international cricket to what was once a backwater.

It will be sullied by his conduct in the league, but there is no doubting his contribution to making India the golden goose of international cricket.

Ironically, it is that situation that has put the local body in the position they are now in.

But he can’t be blamed for that.

I don’t know how important Modi’s role would have been at today’s meeting AGM but the fact that the Indian board got rid of him in an effective and timely manner serves as a warning of his potential influence.

Like most cricket landscapes, there are those who have and those who don’t.

Those who don’t will find themselves at the mercy of the pockets of those who have and the net result of that possible transaction is very simple and logical: bite the hand that feeds you and you’ll end up licking the boot that kicks you.

Whether or not Modi used strong-arm tactics to get the smaller boards on his side will only be known by him and his god.

Indian cricket politics are so dirty, one has to have a knife with a blade in the middle and both ends sharpened because you may never know which side the threat is coming from.

But CSA will need its own god to perform miracles today.

I don’t need to reiterate how deadly a Srinivasan win could be to South Africa’s summer and to the CSA’s financial year.

And by the looks of things, Srinivasan, the man so vehemently opposed to CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat, seems certain to be re-elected.

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