Working Committee endorses charges against Modi
Mumbai: Lalit Modi’s alleged financial irregularities dominated the discussion in today’s BCCI Working Committee meeting, during which the members “agreed” with the charges levelled against the suspended IPL Commissioner.
During the hour-long deliberation at its headquarters, BCCI President Shashank Manohar explained to the 22 members of the committee just why it was important to suspend Modi from all IPL and Board posts.
“All the members agreed upon the charges against Modi,” a source told reporters.
“All the happenings leading up to the suspension were also told to the members. Manohar informed the members about several deals that Modi entered into without the IPL Governing Council’s knowledge, including the TV rights deal,” he added.
Modi was suspended as the Chairman and Commissioner of the league after the IPL final last Sunday because of alleged financial irregularities and rigging of bids.
Modi was charged on five counts, including irregularities in the bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab and in the broadcast and internet deals, and has to file his replies within 15 days to these charges.
He has been replaced at the helm in the interim by Chirayu Amin, another Vice-President of the BCCI.
The invalid IPL tickets issued to the Mumbai Cricket Association and charges of bypassing MCA while organising IPL matches in Mumbai were also discussed in the meeting.
“From now on, all the IPL matches will have to be conducted through the host association. They cannot deal directly with the stadium authorities. Host association cannot be bypassed,” said the source.
MCA had hit out at the IPL for dealing with the match-staging authorities such as the Cricket Club of India or the D Y Patil Sports Academy for hiring their stadiums directly and not through the association.
The MCA had boycotted all the home matches of Mumbai Indians held at the CCI’s Brabourne Stadium as a result.
“The issue of invalid tickets was also discussed and from now on 15 per cent of the tickets would be given to the host association and five per cent would be kept aside for the BCCI,” the source revealed.
Invalid tickets were allegedly handed over to the MCA members for the April 25 IPL final at the D Y Patil Stadium which led to former India player Nari Contractor being humiliated at the gate when he went to see the summit clash.
Contractor and other MCA ticket holders were told by the guards manning the gate that the tickets were not valid without an accompanying badge.
While others waited and eventually got in after MCA joint Secretary Lalchand Rajput contacted IPL CEO Sundar Raman and complained about the incident, Contractor returned home in South Mumbai, about 70 kms from the venue.
Among other issues, Cricket Association of Bengal chief Jagmohan Dalmiya raised questions on the money spent in conducting the IPL.
“He spoke for about half an hour and raised a lot of points on the expenditure incurred in the IPL,” the source said.
The problems faced by Rajasthan Royals owners while organising the matches in Jaipur were also discussed.
Rajasthan’s team management had alleged that they were harassed by the local association, which is perceived to be anti-Modi.
Kings XI Punjab co-owners Preity Zinta and Mohit Burman were also seen at the BCCI headquarters, though the purpose of their visit was not known.
Punjab’s ownership pattern is under the scanner and Manohar, during a press conference on Monday, had stated that Zinta didn’t have single share in her name when she signed the franchise deal.
Asked about Zinta’s presence at the Board headquarters, a source said she was there to submit some documents to the IPL office.
“Her presence had nothing to do with the Working Committee Meeting. She and Mohit Burman had come to submit some documents related to their bid at the IPL office,” he said.
Currently trying to retrieve documents related to IPL which have either gone missing or are with Modi, the BCCI also decided that such official papers would now be in the sole custody of the Board.
“All original documents of the IPL and other deals will be kept with the BCCI in its head office,” the source said.
Strangely the BCCI, which has often talked of it’s aim to be transparent in its dealings, did not think it prudent either to schedule a media conference or even to send out a media release after the meeting.
“There would not be a media meet and there won’t be a media release too,” said an employee of the BCCI to the waiting media persons.
There was no one to support Modi at the meeting with Punjab Cricket Association president I S Bindra deciding to skip it and delegate the job to another member of the PCA, G S Walia.
It is also understood that the matter of over-aged players taking part in Polly Umrigar Schools Cricket Tournament was raised by a member and the suggestion to scrap it would be referred to the Technical Committee headed by Sunil Gavaskar.