London: Lalit Modi, credited with making Indian cricket a billion-dollar industry by successfully launching the Indian Premier League, is back in the news after he announced he is dating Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen and intends to tie the knot with her soon.
The businessman-cum-cricket administrator, who enjoyed good relations with several politicians including former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, always wanted to be in the limelight, be it during his tenure as the IPL chairman or when he was forced to move to London around 2013 following several high-profile lawsuits.
With name and fame also came controversies. But the 56-year-old continued to flaunt his money, travelling around the world in private jets and also reportedly employing the daughter of fugitive industrialist Vijay Mallya as his personal assistant at one point in time.
When Lalit Modi's IPL scam came to light, after representatives of the Kochi franchise complained to the BCCI in 2010 that he had threatened them to give up the franchise, the name of one Laila Mahmood had also surfaced. It was later reportedly revealed that the woman was the step-daughter of Mallya and worked as a personal assistant to Modi.
After being suspended by the BCCI in 2013, which levelled 22 charges against the high-flying administrator including bypassing the IPL governing council while taking decisions, Modi moved to London, from where he continued to fight his suspension.
Soon he and other BCCI officials also found themselves getting enmeshed in several other litigations, some of the notable ones being, contravening the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to the extent of INR 890 million, payment of INR 2.43 billion to Cricket South Africa (CSA) for IPL 2009 in contravention of FEMA, and payment of USD80 million to World Sports Group (WSG) by Multi Screen Media (MSM), as facilitation fees to withdraw from the telecast rights contract.
But all along he continued to be in the spotlight, moving around in flashy cars and socialising with the high and mighty.
The news about Lalit Modi dating Sushmita Sen, the renowned Bollywood actress and winner of the Miss Universe pageant in 1994, didn't come as a surprise, given his lifestyle.
Calling Sen his better half in a tweet, Lalit Modi sent his fans into frenzy on Thursday with several discussing if the two were already married.
"Just back in london after a whirling global tour #maldives # sardinia with the families - not to mention my #betterhalf @sushmitasen47 -- a new beginning a new life finally. Over the moon. In love does not mean marriage YET. BUT ONE THAT For sure," he tweeted on Thursday.
"Just for clarity. Not married - just dating each other. That too it will happen one day. I JUST ANNOUNCED THAT WE ARE TOGETHER," he said in another tweet.