Lalit Modi might have cleared the way for Andrew Flintoff to be bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2009 IPL auction by convincing Rajasthan Royals to retain the contract of former Pakistan fast bowler Sohail Tanvir, correspondence from that period has indicated. By retaining Tanvir, Royals were left with a reduced purse at the auction and were unable to match Super Kings' bids for Flintoff.
Modi, the former IPL commissioner, an Indian news channel, that the sale of Flintoff to Super Kings had been manipulated. "That onus was on me and as chairman I should have not allowed that to happen then," Modi said. "I was arm-twisted to allow Andrew Flintoff to go to Chennai Super Kings. I'm to blame for that. It's a fact."
However, Modi did not reveal how he arranged for Super Kings to buy Flintoff but emails between him and N Srinivasan - the managing director of India Cements, who own Chennai Super Kings, the BCCI secretary at the time and now its president - appear to show that Modi had cleared the way. The emails - which ESPNcricinfo has seen - were written on February 4, 2009, two days before the auction.