Mumbai: Knives are out for Lalit Modi and the IPL governing council is set to sack him as chairman in a potentially volatile meeting on Monday after being rattled by Indian cricket’s biggest financial scandal in recent memory.
The battle lines between Modi and his detractors within the BCCI have been drawn and the beleaguered IPL chairman has decided to skip the meeting, according to sources.
The nationwide tax raids have allegedly unearthed financial bunglings and Modi, at the centre of the controversy, has been accused of having silent stakes in at least three IPL franchises.
With BCCI’s own image also taking a hit due to the IPL row, miffed Board bigwigs boycotted the IPL awards.
Board president Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan and IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah are expected to give the Twenty20 league’s final at the DY Patil Stadium this evening a miss as well due the current imbroglio.
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Incidentally, Srinivasan is the MD and vice-chairman of India Cements, which owns the Chennai Super Kings who will be seen in action in the summit clash against Mumbai Indians.
The trio, along with BCCI CAO Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, reached the Board’s headquarters inside the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday morning presumably to finalize details about Monday’s meeting convened at 10 am by Srinivasan at Manohar’s behest.
Modi has taken a defiant stand and refused to quit from the IPL chairman’s post, even though the dice looks heavily loaded against him at the meeting with only former BCCI chief Inderjit Singh Bindra likely to back him.
While Modi has been making his views public through twitter, the BCCI officials have been engaged in closed-door meetings, albeit informally, to work out their plan of action for Monday’s meeting.
His support base in the BCCI might be non-exsistent but Modi has found the backing of IPL franchise owners, who feel the league’s conceptualizer has become the victim of a media trial and deserves a chance to explain himself.
Modi had, infact, requested that the meeting be deferred by five days to allow him to prepare his case but the BCCI was having none of it.
The extent to which the Modi has been marginalized can be gauged from the fact that the Champions League Twenty20, of which Modi is the chairman, held a meeting without him.
The Board’s constitution empowers its Disciplinary Committee “to inquire into and deal with the matters relating to any act of indiscipline or misconduct or violation of any of the Rules and Regulations of any player, umpire, team official, administrator, selector or any other person appointed or employed by the BCCI.”