BCCI bigwigs boycott IPL awards night

BCCI bigwigs boycott IPL awards night

BCCI bigwigs boycott IPL awards night

BCCI President Shashank Manohar, Secretary N Srinivasan, and IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah stayed away from the event while team owners Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Preity Zinta (Kings XI Punjab), Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra (Rajasthan Royals), Gayatri Reddy (Deccan Chargers) and Jay Mehta (Kolkata Knight Riders) turned up.

The entire Governing Council, barring Sunil Gavaskar, also shunned the event though most of the players came to attend the ceremony.

The Awards Night, to honour the best-performing players in the IPL over the last month and a half, was a Bollywood-style entertainment extravaganza in which Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar were the co-hosts.

Invitations for the awards function have been sent to all the BCCI and IPL's Governing Council members, all the franchise owners, players and support staff, along with the owners of the two new teams –- Kochi and Pune -- which are to make their debut in the league in 2011.

Among the team owners, Vijay Mallya stopped for a brief interaction with the mediapersons in which he rubbished match-fixing allegations and said people should wait till the probe is over.

"I don't know who is talking about all these match-fixing," said the liquor and aviation tycoon.

Mallya rather found fault with the politicians who, he alleged, were raising an "unnecessary storm".

"I think there has been lot of drama, hype and sensationalism. I would say this is uncalled for.

"Even out senior politicians don't seem to understand the concept if IPL and what it is all about and they jump to conclusion," said the RCB owner who has been backing Lalit Modi all along.

"I wish there will be a proper, calm and comprehensive inquiry and people who would read the report of the inquiry will realise that this is a storm that is quite unnecessary," Mallya said.

The absence of the BCCI bigwigs is likely to add further fuel to fire to the ongoing spat between them and Modi.

The awards function could also be the last time IPL Commissioner Modi, whose tenure at the helm of affairs is hanging by a thin thread, will be calling the shots at the Board's precincts as a strong lobby is working towards removing him from the post in the wake of the huge controversy surrounding it.

Among the jury panel is former India captain Gavaskar who is also a GC member while Modi is its convener. There are two other ex-cricketers in the Council – former captains Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Ravi Shastri.

A total of 22 categories of awards, including nine jury awards, would be given away, but the suspense remains as to the persons who would attend it from the cricket administration.

Reporters from the print and electronic media have been excluded from the function while photographers and TV camera crew would be able to shoot the proceedings.

The BCCI top brass might also not attend the grand final of the Twenty20 tournament between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, which is owned by Srinivasan's India Cements Group, according to sources.