Lalit Modi might have been sacked as the Chief Commissioner of the highly successful and popular Indian Premier League or the IPL, the first ever franchise based Twenty 20 Cricket league in the world almost 2 seasons back now for financial misdealing, but he has stirred up fresh controversy and has dragged legendary England cricketer Andrew Flintoff into it.
In an interview with a local Indian newspaper that created quite a stir in Indian cricket, Modi said that the auction for players ahead of the second edition of the IPL in 2009 was rigged in favor of the Chennai based franchise, the Chennai Super Kings that is owned by India Cements, whose managing director is N. Srinivasan, the erstwhile secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India or the BCCI and the current President.
The team led by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni managed to get their hands on the prized asset of Andrew Flintoff during the auction for a staggering $ 1.55 million, making him the joint most expensive player along with Kevin Pietersen.
Elaborating on how he managed to rig the auctions in favor of the Super Kings, Modi added that he had managed to cajole the champions at that time, the Rajasthan Royals to retain the services of their star player Sohail Tanvir, from Pakistan, in spite of knowing that no Pakistan players would be allowed to play in the IPL due to diplomatic crises between the two nations.
This reduced their purse of the allotted $ 2 million ahead of the auction and also got the permissions to allow the Super Kings to cancel the contract for the Sri Lankan player Chamara Kapugedera, thereby enabling the India Cements backed side to use their full purse for the auction, which they used to get the prized asset of Andrew Flintoff.