New Delhi: Lalit Modi is down but clearly not out. The maverick under-suspension IPL commissioner is now trying to split the cricketing world into two by planning a six-month IPL-styled league in England.
As per reports Friday, Modi, under suspension by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for alleged irregularities committed during his tenure as IPL chief, is in talks with three British counties for use of their grounds as venues for a parallel T20 cricket league - bypassing all the boards and ICC.
Acting on a complaint by a worried England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke, the BCCI has slapped another showcause notice on Modi, asking him to explain his role in the planned rebel league in England.
In his e-mail to BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Clarke has raised fears that Modi is trying to ‘destroy the very ethos of international cricket’.
In a rather cryptic statement which did not reveal details, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said that the board acted on an e-mail from England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke.
"The BCCI has issued another Show Cause Notice to Mr Lalit K Modi today, based on an email received from Mr Giles Clarke, Chairman, ECB, informing the President, BCCI, about the activities of Mr Lalit K Modi, which are detrimental to Indian Cricket, English Cricket and World cricket at large," Srinivasan said.
Modi was suspended from the Indian Premier League Commissioner’s post pending a BCCI probe into allegations of financial irregularities, nepotism and rigging bids and was given 15 days time to respond to the charges.
Counties deny `underhand` deal
One of the three county clubs which were allegedly in talks with suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi to start a `rebel` Twenty20 league in England, Yorkshire has denied the allegations insisting that there was "nothing underhand" about the idea.
Yorkshire`s chairman Colin Graves rubbished the allegations and said the meeting was merely about discussing an idea and the ECB was duly informed about it.
"This is totally overblown," Graves was quoted as saying in the `Guardian`.
"It was a fact-finding mission. Lalit Modi did not put a proposition on the table. There were no secret proposals, no secret agenda, nothing underhand," he insisted.
"IPL has been extraordinarily successful and we can learn a lot from it. There was a proper business discussion about how things might develop in the future, the sort of discussions that can benefit the whole of English cricket. Stewart Regan took notes of the meeting and forwarded them to all the Test grounds.”
"I then passed those notes to Giles Clarke. Lalit Modi invited all representatives of the Test grounds to be his personal guests at the IPL final. We turned the invitation down as we were not in a position to discuss anything in detail," he added.
Graves said the counties had not been guaranteed any money during the meeting.
"We have not been guaranteed anything, but if anybody puts anything on the table we will discuss it. We have nine Test grounds and only seven Tests a year. We have to find ways to fill these grounds outside the England team," he said.
"There is no future in us creating another Twenty20 competition for all 18 counties. It is not attractive enough to fill the Test grounds. We have to create something new and exciting, a tournament with the appeal of IPL, a British version. We will continue to put these ideas to Giles," he said.
In his email to the BCCI, Clarke has said that Modi`s plan was "detrimental to Indian cricket, English cricket and world cricket at large".