AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Saturday 24 November 2012
Last update 24 November 2012 2:05 am
NEW DELHI: Disgraced Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi has said he survived three attempts on his life for refusing to fix matches in the cash rich Twenty20 event, a new book reveals.
Modi made the allegations in the book “Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A Journey to the Heart of Cricket’s Underworld” written by British journalist Ed Hawkins.
Modi, who was sacked from the IPL by Indian cricket chiefs in 2010 over allegations of corruption and money laundering and now lives in London, told the writer of the assassination attempts by the underworld.
In Mumbai in March, 2009, Modi says “there was a shoot-out outside my house and one guy got killed and one got picked up.” The other attempts came in South Africa in April of the same year and in Phuket, Thailand, in January 2010. On each occasion Modi was warned by the police or the intelligence agencies, the book says.
Modi alleges that spot fixing, in which cricketers fix a particular element of the game but not the overall result, was widespread, but was “almost impossible to prove,” according to excerpts sent from the book’s publisher.
“Spot fixing is rife in the game. And I’m talking globally,” Modi is quoted as saying in the book. “It’s a Pandora’s box. It’s staring you straight in the face, but difficult to prove. Almost impossible to prove.” Modi insisted he believed the IPL was clean, but could not say for certainty if everything in the tournament or other matches was corruption-free.
“I think it (IPL) was clean, but I could never, sitting here today, categorically tell you that we picked up everything for spot-fixing, and that goes for all games, not just IPL,” Modi said.
He added: “We had to warn players from time to time. We found undesirable elements in the stadium and removed them. We found them touring with players or managers of players who were in touch with bookmakers and we removed them.
“The players have to be the ones who take responsibility. It’s their game.” Three Pakistan players — Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif — plus their agent Mazhar Majeed were last year found guilty of spot-fixing during the 2010 Lord’s Test against England and jailed.
All the three were released earlier this year after completing half of their sentences.
Uncapped Indian fast bowler T. P. Sudhindra was in June handed a life ban by the Indian cricket board for spot fixing in a local match, while four other domestic players were also punished.
A statement by publishers of Hawkins’ book say its aim is to “get under the fingernails of the bookmakers, punters and fixers who seek to corrupt cricket.” Hawkins was given the names of 45 former and current international and domestic cricketers who are alleged to have been involved in corrupt activities. None were named for legal reasons, the publishers said.
All the information gathered in researching the book has been passed to the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), they added.