New Delhi: Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi wants to postpone next week’s meeting of the governing council regarding the corruption allegations surrounding the new Kochi team, according to a news report.
The Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday that Modi was questioning the legality of the meeting on the basis that only he can convene it as the IPL commissioner.
Modi could not be immediately reached for comment.
On Tuesday, ICC vice president Sharad Pawar announced a meeting of the IPL governing council for next Monday, one week after minister of state, external affairs Shashi Tharoor quit following claims he was secretly given a quarter share of the Kochi franchise.
Last month, Tharoor helped to put together a group of investors who paid more than $330 million to bring a team to Kochi part of which he represents in Parliament.
A controversy erupted after Modi questioned why a 25% share in the franchise was given to a group that included a friend of Tharoor’s. It was alleged the friend’s shares were really intended as a hidden gift to Tharoor.
PTI reported that income tax officials on Wednesday visited the offices of the Kolkata Knight Riders in Calcutta and the India Cements, the owner of the Chennai Super Kings, in Chennai to investigate any financial irregularities.
Red Chillies Entertainment, one of the owners of the Kolkata Knight Riders, belongs to Bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla.
This week, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said income tax authorities were investigating the sources and channels of funding of the team owners.
“No guilty (party) or wrongdoer will be spared,” Mukherjee said.
PTI quoted unidentified sources as saying that Modi has told the Board of Control for Cricket in India that he would not be able to attend Monday’s meeting as he needed more time to prepare himself to respond to any questions relating to the funding and the ownership pattern of the eight franchises.
The IPL is an immensely successful Twenty20 event that has attracted players from across the world.
Eight city-based franchises were auctioned by the IPL in 2008. Last month, the IPL announced two new teams, including Kochi, will join the league from 2011.