IPL Road: Kochi dilly-dallies, Modi prevaricates

Policemen stand guard outside a cricket stadium during a match in IPL tournament in Kolkata April 19, 2010. Indian authorities have begun an investigation into the financing of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the finance minister said on Monday, following allegations of corruption in the world's richest cricket tournament. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal (INDIA - Tags: SPORT POLITICS CRICKET)

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.

All the other co-owners have paid cash for their stakes.

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.

Quote of the day:
Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it. – Alvin Toffler