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Sunny Gavaskar hits the deadlines once more; this time it is his links with the Kochi franchise that have drawn flak from all quarters.
The Indian batting legend , the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs and surpass Don Bradman’s 29 tons, is mulling over an offer from the Gaikwads, the Rendezvous group owners, to handle all matters cricketing.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise and there exists speculation about Gavaskar’s role in the bidding process as a possible conflict of interest ; the master batsman was then on the IPL governing council.
(The fallout between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor was the result of allegations that Tharoor sought Modi’s interference in the bidding process to ensure that the Kochi group’s bid would be successful.)
Gavaskar is no longer a part of the IPL set-up; he quit the re-constituted governing council citing differences with the BCCI.
Was the conflict of interest a reason for the differences? If yes, why then was just the super accumulator penalised?
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Cricket South Africa (CSA) reminded us that the tentacles of the IPL mess are not restricted to just Indian and English shores.
CSA have terminated an external investigation into the bonuses paid by Lalit Modi to CSA chief executive Gerald Majola and 40 other staff during the IPL’s second season.
The IPL was moved to South Africa in 2009 following the Indian government’s refusal to provide adequate security for the event because of the clash with the general election. The security apparatus of the state could not be stretched to meet both concerns.
A payment of 4.7 million rands was made to Majola and his associates.
The South African opposition has slammed the switch to an internal investigation as ‘disappointing’.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) is known to be investigating the payment back in India as apparently there was no tax paid on the foreign exchange transfers.
It has been ominously quiet on the IPL front over the past few days.
Except for news reports that the Enforcement Directorate is studying the BCCI filed FIR against the abrasive Lalit Modi, to fructify their case against his willingness (or unwillingness) to respond to their inquiries. There has been little to report in the Indian press or media.
Lalit Modi and his lawyer claim that they have yet to receive a copy of the FIR filed by the BCCI; this is, of course, a classic delaying tactic to fob off the media until they have studied the ramifications and can respond to the allegations in a coherent manner.
The jurisdiction of the Chennai police has been questioned by Modi and his lawyer.
The ED has issued a Look Out notice that will have Mr. Modi detained at all Indian ports if he attempts to enter the country; the IPL ex-honcho shows no inclination to oblige the authorities, preferring to remain in London with token noises about answering any queries via video conference.
Meanwhile, there still seems no resolution to the dispute within the Kochi consortium with the warring parties unable to come to any sort of arrangement as yet.
Rendezvous, who hold the major chunk of sweat equity are at loggerheads with the other co-owners, namely Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Anand Shyam Estates and Vivek Venugopal. Only Filmwave Combines are fine with letting Rendezvous continue in the Kochi consortium with management control.
Rendezvous are willing to buy their sweat equity as long as they retain a say in management matters but doubts are expressed by their partners about the source of their funding and whether the infusion of funds would pass muster with the IT department and ED.
Shashi Tharoor has not been consulted this time around; it is considered best to keep the politician at bay while discussing business matters.
The clock is ticking for the Kochi franchisee and the BCCI must be hoping for a quick resolution, or else it will be a case of even more mud-slinging in the media.
Sunanda Pushkar, now Tharoor’s spouse, has relinquished her stake and is thus no longer a factor in the mediation.
Is this the lull before the storm? Or is it the eye of the storm?
The road to IPL 4 has never seemed more bumpy or more full of obstacles and potholes. Will road rage win the day?
Note: This is an updated version of the earlier article.
The twists and turns in the sordid IPL drama get hairier, by the day!
Readers might be aware that Mr. Lalit Modi is currently in London and refuses to return to India fearing for his life.
His weapon of choice against any and all charges is his Twitter account. Talk about social media pressure!
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1> No team has won the title more than once but then we are only in the 3rd edition of the IPL. The final between CSK and Mumbai Indians ensured that there would be a fresh champion once more.
2> The 3rd and 4th place match was a replay of last year’s final with Royal Challengers Bangalore having some semblance of sweet revenge for last year’s loss to the Chargers, though Kumble might not agree! Bangalore now go onto the T20 Champions Trophy! Just to remind you that none of the IPL teams featured in the semi-finals of last year’s T20 Champions tournament.
Some of Lalit Modi’s latest tweets …
Did you know ipl has made it to the no 1 spot in sports genre on youtube in the world. Overtaken nfl and cbs sports too. Thanks to the fans
—-> The fans are IPL’s saving grace!
Thank you fans for applauding each of the 1708 fours & 585 sixes hit in #IPL 2010. You make ipl wat it is
—-> Wow, I thought you would be too beleaguered to keep count! Congratulations!
—> Yes, no thanks to you and the governing council!
@yuvsingh09 you can never have a clone. You are who u are and will always be to us.
—-> And neither can you have a clone, Mr. Modi,neither can you!