Mumbai:Even as the Chennai Super Kings pulled off a surprise win over the Mumbai Indians, the real action was once again provided by Lalit Modi.
He arrived at the match by helicopter, with an escort carrying what appeared to be a bullet-proof jacket. He is certainly in the line of fire.
After the match ended, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the finial body of cricket in the country sent Lalit Modi a chargesheet of all his misdemeanours. Following the chargesheet, a suspension notice was served.
The suspension means Modi cannot attend Monday's meeting of the Governing Council, a meeting that has a one-point agenda: to force Modi out. Talking to NDTV, Modi said, "Good for them. Are they so scared of me attending? Are they so scared of the truth?" On whether he would try to attend the meeting anyway, he said, "How can I if I'm suspended? I will wait my turn." He refused to comment on whether he will challenge his suspension in court.
At the presentation ceremony which marked the end of IPL3, Modi said, "We have had some off-field unpleasant dramas. All decisions were take jointly by the governing council. I speak as captain of the team...nothing wrong has been done...if there has, I take full responsibility."
The charges against Modi, sources say, cover wide-ranging financial violations, including tampering with bids during auctions for the IPL teams, and holding undisclosed stake through proxy fronts in three teams - the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings XI.
The BCCI decided to suspend Modi after he used Twitter- what else - to sound his war cry. "I will attend and chair the meeting of the GC (Governing Council) as chairman and commissioner. I have issued the agenda to the GC." Modi's message was clear: game on.
The BCCI then used Rule 32 of its constitution which allows the board's president (currently Shashank Manohar) to suspend an official.
After the suspension notice is sent, and the governing council meets, the BCCI's working committee will get to work, ratifying Modi's suspension.
Before things get better, they will get much worse, Modi tweeted over the weekend: "Will reveal the men who've tried to bring disrepute to the game and how we stopped them."
Modi had, in a fit of defiance, for Monday's meeting, asked that all complaints against him, other members of the Governing Council or BCCI to be submitted to him in writing.
His last-minute reversal in strategy (he had been saying he would not attend Monday's meeting) came after it was clear that he would not be given the five extra days he had been asking for to prepare his defence. Some say he was actually buying time to watch the outcome of a case against the BCCI in the Supreme Court.
The case in question has been filed by A Muthiah, a former chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Muthiah has challenged in the Supreme Court the BCCI's decision to allow N Srinivasan, the board's secretary, to buy an IPL team. Conflict of interest, says Muthiah.