I am not protecting Lalit Modi: Sharad Pawar

July 25th, 2010 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar said Sunday he was not protecting his one-time protege Lalit Modi and made it clear that the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner will face the music if he had committed any mistakes.
“No question of protecting anybody. Not only Modi but anybody. If somebody has committed some mistake he will have to face the music,” Pawar, who took over as the ICC president earlier this month, was quoted as saying in a TV interview.

Pawar, a former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and currently the union agriculture minister, admitted that the charges of corruption had tarnished the image of the IPL and Modi’s controversial style of functioning wasn’t accepted by the BCCI’s top brass.

“IPL the product has been a success in this country. It has established that India can also organise such things and there he (Modi) has taken lots of pains, there is no two opinion about that. If somebody has contributed one has also to accept that contribution.”

“But his style of functioning has become controversial and the present Board feels they should go in-depth (for a probe). The board has deputed a committee and let us see what is the outcome. From what I know of BCCI, it will take an appropriate decision and take steps to improve their functioning and image,” he said.

Pawar went on to add that Modi was given a fair trial by the BCCI.

“I am confident that he has to be given a fair trial. But I can’t interfere either way.”

Distancing himself as a Modi supporter, Pawar said: “All of us — myself, Modi and (Shashank) Manohar — have worked together as a group and have contributed something. But the present set-up feels something has gone wrong. So until these (wrongdoings) are not established, it is not proper for me to support or oppose one against the other. Basically I am keeping away from all this.”

As an ICC president, he felt that the world body can’t interfere if the BCCI fails to take satisfactory steps to clean the IPL of charges of corruption.

“Under its constitution, ICC has no authority to interfere in functioning of any member country. ICC will not interfere in their domestic tournaments,” he said.

Pawar was sad that the image of the IPL had been tarnished due to corruption charges.

“I don’t think IPL’s overall position will be damaged. But definitely in the mind of cricket-loving people within India and outside they have started thinking in a different way that there seems to be some wrong things happening,” he said.

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