Ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi alleges murder attempts

Updated 24 November 2012
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Ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi alleges murder attempts

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.


Saudi Arabia set to face Mario Balotelli after striker earns Italy recall

Updated 40 min 16 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia set to face Mario Balotelli after striker earns Italy recall

  • Saudi Arabia play Italy on May 28
  • Balotelli set to play for the Azzurri for the first time in four years

TURIN: New Italy coach Roberto Mancini on Saturday recalled Nice striker Mario Balotelli to the Azzurri fold for three upcoming friendlies as he begins the job of reviving Italian fortunes.
Mancini was appointed last Monday, six months after Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following the four-time world champions’ failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
The 53-year-old, who left Zenit Saint Petersburg to take the job, unveiled his first 30-man squad for matches against Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands.
Mancini takes charge of his first game against the Green Falcons in St. Gallen, Switzerland on May 28.
As expected, the 27-year-old Balotelli was included for the first time in nearly four years.
Balotelli has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for the Azzurri but has not played international football since Italy’s humiliating group-stage exit from the 2014 World Cup.
Balotelli was last called up by coach Antonio Conte in November 2014 but did not play because of injury.
He has now been given another chance by Mancini, who coached him at both Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Balotelli has resurrected his career since joining Nice in 2016 after less successful spells with AC Milan and Liverpool, scoring 26 goals in all competitions this season, without any of the bad-boy behavior that previously dogged his career.
Italy are not spoilt for choice with forward so Balotelli’s success with Nice could not be overlooked by Mancini.
As a youngster, Balotelli was part of the Inter side coached by Jose Mourinho that won the Champions League in 2010.
He also won three Serie A titles with Inter before switching to Manchester City and helping them claim the Premier League crown in 2012.
Meanwhile, Mancini’s squad was without goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon who this week confirmed he would not play again for the national side.
The presence of Buffon — who holds the record for Italy caps with 176 — proved controversial during friendlies in March with his critics wanting him to move over for a younger generation.
In his absence, Mancini has recalled Salvatore Sirigu, who has had a successful season since joining Torino, alongside AC Milan teenager Gianluigi Donnarumma and Genoa’s Mattia Perin.
Among the veterans there was no call-up for Roma captain Daniele De Rossi, with Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini absent through injury.
The captain’s armband is expected to go to AC Milan center-back Leonardo Bonucci.
Five players have been given a first call-up — Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri, Torino midfielder Daniele Baselli, Crotone midfielder Rolando Mandragora, Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi and Atalanta defender Mattia Caldara.
Along with defenders Alessio Romagnoli and Daniele Rugani, midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini and strikers Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi are among the promising youngsters who are expected to put Italy back on the road to victory.
The squad will meet for the first time at the Italian national team’s training camp at Coverciano near Florence on May 23.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino);
Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Domenico Criscito (Zenit St. Petersburg/RUS), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter Milan), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Emerson Palmieri Dos Santos (Chelsea/ENG), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea/ENG)
Midfielders: Daniele Baselli (Torino), Giacomo Bonaventura (Milan), Bryan Cristante (Atalanta), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Jorginho (Napoli), Rolando Mandragora (Crotone), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Nice/FRA), Andrea Belotti (Torino), Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Matteo Politano (Sassuolo), Simone Verdi (Bologna), Simone Zaza (Valencia/ESP)