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Rediff.com  » Cricket » BCCI suspends IPL commissioner Lalit Modi

BCCI suspends IPL commissioner Lalit Modi

Last updated on: April 26, 2010 08:32 IST
lalit ModiControversial and high-profile Lalit Modi was suspended late Sunday night as IPL commissioner for alleged "individual misdemeanours" capping fortnight-long dramatic developments that opened a can of worms in the administration of the popular cricket league.

On a day of fast-paced developments, the BCCI acted swiftly to suspend him, giving 15 days time to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him after he made a surprise announcement that he would participate and chair the meeting of the IPL's Governing Council on Monday morning.

"While we rejoice and celebrate the great success of IPL Season 3, the alleged acts of individual misdemeanors of Mr Lalit K Modi, chairman IPL and vice-president BCCI have brought a bad name to the administration of Cricket and the game itself," BCCI president Shashank Manohar said in a press release announcing that Board secretary N Srinivasan has issued a show cause notice to him and suspending him from the Board, IPL, the Working Committe and any other committee.

With this decision, Modi cannot participate in the Monday meeting of the Governing Council that will go into the alleged financial wrong-doings in the IPL and how to set right things.

Manohar said he waited for the final match of IPL III to end as he did not want the event to be disrupted in any manner.

Moments before the Board announced the decision, a combative Modi made a hard-hitting speech before the awards ceremony of the IPL final match in which he said that all decisions have jointly been taken by the Governing Council and approved by the General Body.

"If there is any flouting of rules and other irregularities, I shall the responsibility but on this occasion I would like to tell the fans of the game across the world that IPL is clean and transparent," he said in a virtual farewell speech.

The whole controversy over IPL began with Modi tweeting certain comments raising questions over the ownership of Kochi franchise, which Union Minister Shashi Tharoor backed strongly.

But a week later Tharoor was forced to resign as Minister of State for External Affairs when it came to be known that his friend Sunanda Pushkar got sweat equity of rs 70 crores in the Kochi team.

Subsequent revelations also triggered a raging political controversy that has brought under the scanner the alleged role of Union Ministers and NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel in IPL. The Opposition parties have demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the IPL and alleged financial wrong-doings in it.

Reacting to the action against him, Modi said it had been a long and tiring tournament and wondered how he could attend the Governing Council meeting if he has been suspended. "Is the BCCI scared of truth", he said.

Going back on his earlier decision not to attend the meeting which he had called "illegal",  the embattled Commissioner said he will attend the meeting and seek written charges for him to reply, a move that was seen as making it difficult for his detractors to remove him at short notice.

"I will attend and chair the meeting of the Governing Council as chairman and commissioner. I have issued the agenda to the Governing Council," Modi wrote on his Twitter page.

However, as the final match in the IPL was in progress, indications emerged that Modi could be suspended pending enquiry into the allegations of financial wrong-doings against him either late tonight or before commencement of the meeting at 10 am on Monday at BCCI headquarters.

The bigwigs of BCCI, including president Shashank Manohar, Niranjan Shah and N Srinivasan, who owns Chennai Super Kings, kept away from the final match.

A Governing Council member said that his suspension was high on the cards though he could not give an indication as to when exactly it would take place.

The single-point agenda itself was circulated to the media within minutes of his tweet. It asked the council members to give their complaints against him in writing and backed by documentary proof.

"On the agenda, will be a discussion on any complaints received in writing from members of the Governing Council against the Chairman, other members of the Council and/or the Board of Control for Cricket in India," Modi said in a statement.

"Members of the Governing Council have been requested to give all such complaints in writing with the requisite supporting documents at the meeting on the morning of April 26 to the Chairman and Commissioner, so they can be replied in full," he added.

The agenda chosen by Modi appeared to be a bid to block any discussion on serious allegations against him widely reported in the media over the past several days.

That is because it would be near impossible for the Governing Council members to provide documentary support since such documents are with the Income Tax and other investigative agencies.
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