Jaipur, April 12: When IPL is the buzz, can Lalit Modi, former IPL czar and his son Ruchir be far behind?
Ruchir, president of Alwar Cricket Association, recently announced setting up of eight cricket academies across Rajasthan.
The academies, christened ‘Lalit Kumar Modi Center of Excellence’ will be set up in Alwar, Dholpur, Nagaur, Jalore, Banswara, Sri Ganganagar, Sawai Madhopur, and Pratapgarh.
Elaborating, Ruchir said : “We are committed to the growth of cricket in Rajasthan. My father had a vision and the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) and the IPL that he created is a testament to his dream. No amount of coaches or coaching matters if you don’t have the right infrastructure. I believe that everyone should have equal opportunity and privilege should not count. The focus of the academies will be to make the sport a joy for youngsters and teach them fundamental values such as passion, teamwork, perseverance and honesty.”
The academy, which will be involved in grooming budding cricketers, will have two age groups, 7-10 years and 11-16 years. These academies are expected to come up in this finanacial year.
Lalit Modi moved to London in 2010, shortly after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched an investigation into fund embezzlement.
Last year, Ruchir had lost the RCA president elections to seasoned Congress leader CP Joshi. This post was held by his father between 2005 and 2009. However, when he was again elected president in 2014, BCCI had suspended RCA and the latter removed Modi from the president’s post in May 2015.
Replying to a query, Ruchir said they would not be taking any financial support from BCCI or RCA in his new project. .
Ruchir claimed that his father, Lalit Modi, had taken IPL to great heights but the IPL tournament had been sliding down since 2010. “I would not like to compete with my father’s legacy (IPL) but may consider launching something similar in Rajasthan in future,” he said.
On charges against Lalit Modi, he said there were many charges but no proof has been presented in any court.
On the investment in the new venture, Ruchir said he would not be able to give a figure at this stage.