Getting inside info about Lalit Modi was no easy task, says Boria Majumdar

 Getting inside info about Lalit Modi was no easy task, says Boria Majumdar

Author Boria Majumdar and his new book Maverick Commissioner

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

Maverick Commissioner (Simon & Schuster) by Boria Majumdar is the story of Indian Premier League (IPL) and its founder Modi. The book talks in detail about how Modi founded IPL and turned it into one of the most promising professional men’s Twenty20 cricket leagues. Vibri Motion Pictures is coming out with a film based on this book soon. In an email interviews. Majumdar tells Life & More about the making of the book. Excerpts:

Tell us about the making of Maverick Commissioner. When did you think of writing it and how much time did it take you to complete it, cover to cover?
It started when film producer Vishnu Induri, who has produced 83 and Thalaivi among others, called me and asked if I was keen to do a no holds barred account on the formation of the IPL and what subsequently went wrong with its founder Lalit Modi. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure if I could get people to open up and talk about what really transpired backstage. That’s when I started with the research and read up everything there was on Lalit Modi and the IPL and went on to conduct a huge number of interviews, on and off record, in trying to piece together the story. Worked on it for close to three years.

You have been a sports journalist, still how tough it was to get inside information about Lalit Modi. Who all did you connect with?
Very difficult. People don’t really want to open up and some things are best left unsaid. You need to earn people’s confidence for them to tell you the backstage. And some things are said off-the-record. I also needed documents, emails etc, to document the story which was challenging. But, finally all things fell into place.

So, what did you find out about Lalit Modi? Who is he, actually? The saint or the sinner.
That’s for the reader to decide. I am the narrator. I don’t take sides. All I say is you have to credit the man for creating the IPL and giving world cricket its biggest brand. So, in that sense he is the saint. But you can certainly question the way he ran it and in that sense he is the sinner.

Any interesting anecdotes you would like to share with us related to this book.
Oh, there are plenty. The book is full of it. For example, the BCCI top brass was in a hotel room waiting for the IPL final in 2010 to be over to serve the suspension notice to Modi. They did not go to the ground because they did not want to be seen with him. There are many such stories.

When did Vibri Motion Pictures connect with you for a film on book? Can you share some details about film’s cast?
It was Vishnu who first got in touch with me in 2019 end or 2020 beginning. It was his idea. And since then we have been working very closely. Casting and all else is his call, not mine. But I am greatly looking forward to it.



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