Mumbai. Historical archives accessed by Faking News reveal that BCCI has been obsessed with the idea of IPL since 1930 itself, just a couple of years after it was formed.
While the rest of India was busy with Civil Disobedience Movement announced by Mahatma Gandhi, Balit Modi, one of the founding members of the BCCI and only Indian on the board, came up with a brilliant idea of organizing an annual cricketing event between rich Princely States.
He called it the Indian Princely League or IPL. Contrary to what is believed due to Aamir Khan’s movie Lagaan, Cricket was played mostly by royal families in those days and BCCI had been planning to cash on to this fact.
“The idea of IPL went very well with the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy of the British government and they were very impressed with a tournament that will pit one princely state against another,” 108 years old Arjun Singh, the former King of Khelgarh told Faking News.
Archives show that around 12 princely states had agreed to Balit Modi’s proposal for IPL. Princely states saw it as an opportunity to prove their supremacy without getting involved in any bloodshed.
However, the IPL could never take off. With an objective of being the most cash-rich society in the shortest possible time, BCCI had asked for too high a participation fee from the princely states.
“Apart from that, very few Indians were cricketers back then. Ranjitsinhji had retired and most players were white. They hated the idea of being auctioned to teams owned by Indians,” Arjun Singh revealed.
“These British cricketers, disgusted at the idea of playing under Indian Rajas and Nawabs, complained to King George V claiming that Balit Modi, an Indian, could be planning a mutiny through IPL by bringing princely states together on the same ground,” Singh explained why the original IPL failed.
When asked about whereabouts of Balit Modi, Arjun Singh said, “Afraid of British action, he fled to some other country.”
Historians believe that if the IPL was launched in 1930, it would have had interesting repercussions.
“Either Indians would have forgotten about the freedom movement and got busy with IPL, or they would have got angry with the presence of cheerleaders, finding it against local culture, and revolted against the British rule. Or maybe nothing would have changed. All three results could have been possible,” cricket historian Ravi Shastri told Faking News.