BCCI goes all out against Modi

Off-field battle: Board chief reels out charges against ex-IPL boss

BCCI goes all out against Modi


Two of the five charges against Modi relate to the broadcasting deal and with regard to Internet rights.
“There is an allegation that a facilitation fee was paid, but the Board does not have the document,” Manohar said, obviously referring to the alleged $80 million “kickback” Modi is said to have received as part of the telecast rights deal between Multi Screen Media (formerly Sony Entertainment Television) and World Sports Group.

After the first season of the IPL, the telecast rights were taken away from MSM and awarded to WSG. MSM then struck a deal with WSG to win back the rights, with recent revelations suggesting the involvement of a middleman and kickbacks.
“This deal happened between MSM Singapore and WSG Mauritius, so there is no reason why this document would be present with the Board,” Manohar, a lawyer by profession, said.

“Since I don’t have this document with me, I don’t see any reason why we should be aware of this. If you take the Rajasthan Royals – people are saying there is benami funding in the franchise. If the funds are coming from Mauritius or if the funds are coming from Virgin Islands, I do not have any machinery to find out where the funds are coming from.

“The Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate are investigating into these matters and when they gave us the notice, only then we became aware of it.”
Manohar said it would be premature for the TV and Internet rights to be cancelled straightaway. “I am not an astrologer to guess whether there is something wrong with the deals with regards to the broadcaster or the Internet,” he countered. “I cannot cancel a deal unless and until something suspicious is found in those deals. For that purpose, whatever enquiry is required will be held.”

Taking a swipe at the IPL’s paid employees, he observed, “since the IPL is a huge and valuable property, we appointed professionals like IMG. We are paying them a huge sum of Rs 27 crore for all operational things. We also appointed a professional CEO, Sundar Raman, who is also paid a huge salary.
“If you are expecting every Governing Council member to come here everyday at 10 am and leave at 10 pm to look at what is happening everywhere, we don’t need the other staff. Then we don’t need to pay IMG Rs 27 crore and we don’t need to have a CEO for running the IPL.”

Raman too has been under the scanner for his high-handed tirade at Sunil Valsan, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, during a game in New Delhi, and for preferring Twitter to more common means of communication for an official announcement regarding Sachin Tendulkar being fined for slow over-rate. “They behaved like their superior!” Manohar quipped.
DH News Service

The rise and fall of Lalit Modi
February, 2005: Lalit Modi becomes the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, defeating Kishore Rungta, ending the 30-year reign of the Rungta family.
November, 2005: After Sharad Pawar group’s victory over Jagmohan Dalmiya in the BCCI elections, Modi, a staunch supporter of Pawar, becomes one of the youngest ever BCCI vice-presidents.
September, 2007: The landmark month for Modi as the BCCI announces the franchise-based Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League T20, widely viewed as Modi’s brainchilds.
January, 2008: The IPL franchise auction takes place in Mumbai under the stewardship of Modi and eight franchises were auctioned for a mammoth $723.59 million.
February 2008: The IPL player auction takes place and Mahendra Singh Dhoni emerges the biggest buy, attracting a bid of $1.5 million from Chennai Super Kings, owned by India Cements.
March, 2009: Tentative days for Modi and the IPL as the event schedule clashes with India’s parliamentary elections. After swift deliberations, Modi announces the plan to shift the IPL to South Africa. The complete success of the tournament viewed as the growing worldwide popularity of the IPL and Modi’s organisational skills.
September, 2009: The first-ever Champions League T20 takes place and the tournament, though not a grand success in the first year, promises a lot as a roaming tournament in the subsequent years, and a model for inter-continental club competitions.
December, 2009: The first sign of trouble for Modi as he is defeated in the Rajasthan Cricket Association election. But manages to retain his BCCI vice-president post because he is also on the board of the Punjab Cricket Association, headed by I S Bindra, a supporter of Modi.
March, 2010: Two new IPL franchises comes into existence after the first auction is cancelled following the BCCI’s objection to stiff financial clauses set by Modi. Second auction was conducted two weeks later with Sahara (Pune) and Rendezvous (Kochi) bagging the bids. Videocon and Adani group, who supposedly had Modi’s backing, are out-bidded, paving the way to disquiet behind the scenes.
April 11, 2010: Modi discloses the Kochi franchise shareholding pattern through Twitter, unleashing a chain of events, including the resignation of Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, “mentor” of the Kochi franchise. But that is just the beginning as more sleaze were thrown upon the IPL and Modi, including match-fixing allegations.
April 25, 2010: Culmination of the drama, the BCCI suspends Modi for “alleged acts of individual misdemeanours,” just after the IPL-III final between Chennai and Mumbai.

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