Lalit Modi's controversial tweets over the ownership structure of new IPL entrant Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) had led to a virtual showdown, with the Kochi franchise threatening to sue the IPL Commissioner for breaking the confidentiality terms.
Modi disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little-known RSW, which coughed up approximately Rs 1533 crore to bag the Kochi franchise, a move that put Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor in a spot of bother, as Sunanda Pushkar, the lady he is reportedly planning to marry, figures in the list.
Miffed by the disclosure, RSW threatened to send a legal notice to Modi and accused the IPL Commissioner of breaking the confidentiality terms.
The Kochi franchise also complained to Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar about Modi's indiscretion.
Modi wrote on his Twitter page that the free equity holders in RSW include Kisan, Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulati, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad and Sundip Agarwal.
Media reports have said Tharoor is to marry Sunanda Pushkar, a Kashmiri girl. Trained as a beautician, she runs a spa and has lived in Dubai.
"A lot of you asking shareholders and events surrounding the Kochi team. I am compiling a note shortly and will put an official release soon," Modi wrote.
Modi hinted there is pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all owns Rendezvous.
"I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?" he said.
Modi's tweets could land Tharoor in fresh controversy, as the union minister had vehemently claimed that he has no financial stake in the Kochi franchise.
"All I did on my part was to offer encouragement, blessings and expert advise when required to the bidders.
Beyond that, I had no role to play. It's a group of business people and I understand it's a business decision," Tharoor had said.
RSW acted sharply to Modi and even disputed his claim that Sunanda has 18 per cent stake in the franchise.
According to sources, the Kochi franchise wants Modi to disclose the stake-holding pattern in other franchises like Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI Punjab.
RSW sources claimed that Modi is interested in having Ahmedabad as one of the franchises for subsequent IPL seasons and is therefore creating problems for Kochi, which emerged the second highest bidder in the auction.
Kochi and Pune will be the two new teams from IPL 2011.