IPL Governing Council to decide Modi’s fate Monday

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI - The meeting of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Governing Council Monday is expected to serve a charge-sheet to its chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi and if his replies are unsatisfactory he will be asked to put in his papers.

The meeting will also decide on the road ahead in the aftermath of the raging controversy that is fast becoming a major embarrassment for the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI).

On his return from Dubai, where Modi went to attend the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting as an alternate director on behalf of BCCI president Shashank Manohar, Modi said he is not resigning and was going to reply to the charge-sheet.

“I will present all the facts about the allegations at the IPL Governing Council meeting,” Modi said at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.

On a day of hectic developments, Manohar flew down to Delhi from Mumbai and met his predecessor Sharad Pawar, International Cricket Council’s (ICC) president-elect, at his residence here.

Pawar and Manohar were closeted for close to one-and-a-half houra immediately after the minister met his cabinet colleagues Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram in parliament. The trio reportedly discussed the IPL controversy and its political fallout over a slew of allegations of financial irregularites in the wake of the IPL bidding for two new franchises, Kochi and Pune, last month.

Pawar and Manohar presented a straight face to the media and said the Governing Council meeting will decide on the future course of action.

“The Governing Council is meeting on April 26 in Mumbai and a collective and unanimous decision will be taken there,” Pawar told reporters.

Asked whether he is backing Modi to stay in IPL, Pawar, who gave a free hand to Modi in the running of IPL during his regime, said: “If the authority is vested with the Governing Council then neither Sharad Pawar nor Shashank Manohar can interfere in the rights of all the members.

“Don’t forget that Modi is part of the BCCI and he is a vice-president. We always take a collective and unanimous decision where everyone is party to it, including Lalit Modi.”

“Our approach should be to protect the interests of Indian cricket, cricket-loving public and players, including up and coming players,” he said.

When Manohar was asked about reports that BCCI top brass has made up its mind to oust Modi, he said: “I have not spoken to anyone in BCCI so don’t know what others want. I am not aware of any such opinion. My personal views and decisions do not carry any weight. But an unanimous and appropriate decision will be taken at the Governing Council meeting.”

Manohar had another round of meeting with BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla and Arun Jaitley, president of the Delhi and District cricket Association (DDCA) and leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

A top BCCI official indicated, however, that one week was too long a time, considering that the controversy was growing with every passing day, and a decision on Modi could come before that.

Besides Modi, who is the IPL chairman and commissioner, the all-powerful 14-member IPL governing council include Manohar, BCCI secretary N. Srinivisan, IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah, ICC’s principal adviser Inderjit Singh Bindra, BCCI treasurer M.P Pandove, BCCI vice president’s Chirayu Amin, and Arun Jaitley, BCCI joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association president Farooq Abdullah, Shukla, chairman of media and finance commitee and former India captains Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri.

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