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Rediff.com  » Cricket » English county clubs deny 'underhand' deal with Lalit Modi

English county clubs deny 'underhand' deal with Lalit Modi

Last updated on: May 07, 2010 15:49 IST

One of the three county clubs which were allegedly in talks with suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi to start a 'rebel' Twenty20 league in England, Yorkshire has denied the allegations insisting that there was "nothing underhand" about the idea.

Modi has been accused of negotiating for a parallel Twenty20 league in England without the knowledge of the England and Wales Cricket Board and the BCCI in a meeting with three counties in March.

He has been slapped with a showcause notice by the BCCI after ECB chief Giles Clarke brought the matter to the Indian Board's notice.

But Yorkshire's chairman Colin Graves rubbished the allegations and said the meeting was merely about discussing an idea and the ECB was duly informed about it.

"This is totally overblown," Graves was quoted as saying in the Guardian.

"It was a fact-finding mission. Lalit Modi did not put a proposition on the table. There were no secret proposals, no secret agenda, nothing underhand," he insisted.

"IPL has been extraordinarily successful and we can learn a lot from it. There was a proper business discussion about how things might develop in the future, the sort of discussions that can benefit the whole of English cricket.

Stewart Regan took notes of the meeting and forwarded them to all the Test grounds.

"I then passed those notes to Giles Clarke. Lalit Modi invited all representatives of the Test grounds to be his personal guests at the IPL final. We turned the invitation down as we were not in a position to discuss anything in detail," he added.

Graves said the counties had not been guaranteed any money during the meeting.

"We have not been guaranteed anything, but if anybody puts anything on the table we will discuss it. We have nine Test grounds and only seven Tests a year. We have to find ways to fill these grounds outside the England team," he said.

"There is no future in us creating another Twenty20 competition for all 18 counties. It is not attractive enough to fill the Test grounds. We have to create something new and exciting, a tournament with the appeal of IPL, a British version. We will continue to put these ideas to Giles," he said.

In his email to the BCCI, Clarke has said that Modi's plan was "detrimental to Indian cricket, English cricket and world cricket at large".

The BCCI too feels that any such plan would shake "the very foundation of the way cricket is administered and played across the world".

Modi had met representatives Colin Povey, the Warwickshire chief executive, Yorkshire's chief executive, Stewart Regan, and the Lancashire committee member David Hodgkiss in the March 31 gathering in New Delhi.

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