In 2008, Lalit Modi was instrumental in launching the Indian Premier League (IPL), a league based around Twenty20 cricket, where each team is limited to batting for a maximum of 20 overs. he also engineered the Indian Premier League’s move to South Africa in 2009 after the dates of the tournament clashed with the Indian general election and the Union Minister of Home Affairs, P. Chidambaram, could not commit to the security of the tournament.
The IPL has since grown into one of the world’s biggest sports, worth over US$4 billion. The commercial success of the Indian Premier League and Modi’s control of the league has led to him being compared to Don King and Bernie Ecclestone.
In 2010, Modi oversaw the bidding process and creation of two new teams in the Indian Premier League. Pune and Kochi were declared the new franchises. A Twitter entry by Modi declaring the stakeholders of the Kochi IPL Team allegedly breaching confidentiality agreements led to the resignation of the then Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor.
Modi was then suspended as Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL in April 2010. A suspension notice and a 34-page letter stating 22 charges of impropriety were served via email to Modi. Modi publicly protested his innocence immediately after the 2010 Indian Premier League Final had been played.
An income tax department report on Modi has revealed that he holds a silent stake in three IPL teams – the Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. Furthermore, there are questions as to whether Modi was involved in match fixing and betting in Indian Premier League games. He is also under fire for helping his family and friends buy stakes in Indian Premier League teams.