Q&A : He was challenging the institution and the IPL had come to be associated with him. It was Modi’s IPL Not the Board’s – Boria Majumdar

A prolific writer and who it seems is raising the bar with his every new book, Boria Majumdar is once again hogging the limelight with his recently released  book – Maverick Commissioner: The IPL-Lalit Modi Saga. The Indian Premier League. Its mere mention forces cricket fans across the world to sit up and take notice. World cricket’s most valued property has only grown stronger with time. Conceived and implemented by Lalit Modi in 2008.

How and why did it happen? What went on behind the scenes? How did it all start to go wrong between Modi and the others? Are there secrets that will never come out?  These attributes makes the book a engrossing one. In a candid interview Boria talks about his latest book, Lalit Modi, IPL and much more.

Excerpts : 

Q : What was it that prompted you to write a book on Lalit Modi in the first place? A man who is admired as well as criticised in equal measure

A: You have just answered the question. Someone you can’t ignore ever. You can absolutely question the way he ran the IPL and I have time and again in the book but you can never take away from the fact that he created it. He needs to be studied. You need to know how things transpired and what all went on. That’s the idea.

Q : Why do you call Lalit Modi as the title of the book says Maverick Commissioner ?

A : If there was ever a maverick in world cricket its Lalit. He is a genius and a maverick combined. He does crazy things and yet has done something that will forever be his legacy. That’s why he is a maverick.

Q : Is it not an irony that as the IPL grows big with every year as a brand and the latest being the staggering media rights value that the man who created it is now in exile in London and forgotten ?

A: Indeed is. But that’s why you need to understand the process as to why this happened? How did it all go wrong. What’s the backstory. And how did such a man who lost it all create something of this proportion that will outlive us all.

Q : How challenging was it and what all research did you do to write this book ?

A: Very difficult. People don’t really want to open up and some things are best left unsaid. You need to earn people’s confidence for them to tell you the backstage. And some things are said off record. I also needed documents, emails etc, to document the story which was challenging. Finally all things fell into place.

Q : Is this book in a sense an attempt to bring to the fore what led to the creation of IPL and to know about the man who was its founder ?

A: It is the story of the IPL and its founder. How was it all done, what do we not know, what went wrong thereafter and why did it happen. It is a story of the backstage, the unknown for I had access to confidential documents and managed to interview the people who were hands on involved at the time. It is a story that needs to be told and this book is an attempt.

Q : In the chapter of your book – Beginning of the end you mentioned the Rajiv Shukla incident where he was sidelined by Lalit Modi , Is this example in a sense that BCCI found Lalit Modi a tough to handle and therefore fell out with him .

A: There are many such examples. He was challenging the institution and the IPL had come to be associated with him. It was Modi’s IPL Not the Board’s. Such things don’t last long for the institution always comes back harder. An individual can never take on an institution and that’s what happened.

Q : Did Lait Modi ever in the conversations regret making that fateful tweet on the Kochi Tuskers that cost him his job as IPL Chairman and Commissioner ?

A: No. I don’t think he regrets. At least he did not say to me.

Q : Late Jagmohan Dalmiya , known as one of the finest cricket administrators was expelled from the BCCI, but made a comeback as president , So Can Lalit Modi ever stage a comeback to BCCI ? Or has the door closed since he has no friends in the BCCI

A: This is a question that I don’t think anyone has an answer to. All I can say is if he does make a comeback I have a sequel to the book and will narrate the story for sure!!

Q :  Since this book is about IPL and Lalit Modi , honestly did you believe that IPL would become so big when it started in 2008 and now is a pride of India and a global brand tournament every international cricketer loves to be part of. 

A: No I did not. Absolutely not. I had no idea people will come out in Lakhs to watch a 4pm game at 40 degrees heat when India wasn’t playing. So it has been a story that has stumped us all.

Q  : I have read most of your books so I am tempted to ask where do you get this energy from to write one riveting book after another with such consistency? . Any future subjects you have in mind ahead.

A : You are kind. As an academic this is what my legacy is. And that’s what drives me. Let’s enjoy the success of this and I will soon let you know about the next project.

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