Mumbai/New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday appointed Chirayu Amin, president of the Baroda Cricket Association, as interim chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after suspending Lalit Modi late Sunday night.
The board’s president Shashank Manohar said the IPL governing council, at its meeting on Monday, discussed a list of charges against Modi, who has 15 days to respond to them.
Taking guard: Interim IPL chairman Chirayu Amin. Shashank Parade/PTI
For the benefit of those who came in late, Mint presents a “What” and “What now” primer on Monday’s developments in the spiralling IPL controversy.
What are the charges against Modi?
There are five broad charges: Irregularities in the initial bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab and in the recent bids for the two new IPL teams; grey areas in IPL’s broadcasting deal with Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd (MSMPL); lack of clarity in the Internet rights awarded by IPL to Global Cricket Ventures; and leaking of confidential information to the media.
Exactly how many charges are there against Modi?
Twenty-two, according to media reports.
Is the chargesheet in the public domain?
Not yet. Copies of the chargesheet will be given to members of the IPL governing council on Tuesday, but it isn’t clear if and when it will be made public.
What now for Modi?
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The legal option is open to him. According to some people, Modi has hired a battery of lawyers including Harish Salve, former solicitor general of India.
On Monday evening, Modi tweeted to say he was still IPL chairman, an indication that he could consider obtaining a stay on his suspension, although this couldn’t be confirmed.
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Is no one supporting him?
One of his close associates, I.S. Bindra, chief of the Punjab Cricket Association, who is on the IPL governing council, did stand up for him; no one else did. Vijay Mallya, who owns Royal Challengers Bangalore, one of the teams, has also come out in his support and said the former IPL chairman should be given a hearing.
What now for IPL?
The show, including the auctions of all players (because the original three-year contracts they had signed will lapse before the next edition of IPL), will go on.
Niranjan Shah, IPL vice-chairman and a former Modi acolyte, said the league would now focus on “pure cricket” and that there would be no more “IPL nites” or “parties”. “We will take a call on whether cheerleaders are essential to the game,” he added.
“Decisions pertaining to any matter will now be taken by the entire governing council... It will not be up to just one person to take the call,” said Rajeev Shukla, chairman of the media and finance committee at BCCI.
Who will be in charge of sorting out the logistics of how the teams choose and retain players?
The IPL’s governing council has asked its members and former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, and M.A.K. Pataudi to do so.
The governing council has discussed allowing teams to retain three foreign and four Indian players from their current line-ups, but a final decision is yet to be taken.
Surely, the governing council was aware of at least some of the alleged rot in the system?
No, claimed Manohar. According to him, the governing council got to know about most contracts only after they had been signed.
Are the income-tax department and the Enforcement Directorate investigating IPL and some teams?
They are. Manohar referred to various demands for documents by the two agencies that BCCI was unable to meet because it didn’t have them. It would ask a member, Ratnakar Shetty, to look for and into all documents that are missing.
What exactly are the irregularities in Rajasthan Royals?
Several, if Manohar is to be believed. One, the bid was won by UK-based Emerging Media which was set up only a few months before the bidding process and was owned by one person, Manoj Badale, but the agreement was signed with a company called Jaipur IPL. Two, at the time the agreement was signed, a certain Mr Castellino and Bal Thakur were the only shareholders in Jaipur IPL. Three, the names of neither Raj Kundra nor Shilpa Shetty figure in the shareholder register. Four, there has been a violation of the clause in the agreement that says that when shares are transferred, IPL and BCCI need to be in the loop and that the board is entitled to 5% of the transaction amount.
Are these true?
Mint couldn’t independently confirm any of these. However, Shilpa Shetty tweeted later on Monday that her husband Raj Kundra owns a stake in the company.
And what about Kings XI Punjab?
According to Manohar, actor Preity Zinta won the bid, and said she would form a consortium. She did, and she signed the agreement on behalf of the company, but on the day she did so, Zinta did not have a single share in the company. The shares were transferred to her later, and again, the transaction ignored the provision regarding IPL and BCCI being kept informed and entitled to a transaction fee.
Is this true?
Again, Mint couldn’t independently confirm this.
What are the charges related to the broadcast deal?
Manohar didn’t get into the specifics, but earlier media reports suggest that MSMPL paid a facilitation fee to World Sports Group (the imputation being that Modi in some way benefited from this).
What about the Internet deal?
Again, Manohar didn’t get into the specifics, but earlier media reports have said that there were irregularities in the IPL website contract, which was awarded to Modi’s son-in-law Gaurav Burman as well as irregularities in the contract awarded to Global Cricket Ventures for the digital and mobile rights, partially owned by Elephant Capital Investments, where Burman is a director.
We are just getting started, Modi tweeted on Monday evening. That may well be true.