Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra came down hard on the Board of Control for Cricket in India over its handling of the Indian Premier League, saying recent controversies are a "dampener" for the cash-rich tournament.
"I am satisfied with the way the league has gone in the last five years, but the controversies have been a damper," he said, in Mumbai, on Monday.
Controversy has been an integral part of the Twenty20 league ever since former chairman Lalit Modi was sacked for alleged financial wrongdoings in April 2010. In the same year, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab were axed from the IPL but reinstated following a Supreme Court order. Kochi Tuskers Kerala, however, were not so lucky and ousted after just one season.
Earlier this month fresh controversy emerged after the cash-strapped Deccan Chargers was axed from the league, and it dragged the BCCI to court.
British-born businessman Kundra, who along with wife Shilpa (Shetty) had bought stake in Rajasthan Royals in 2009, said the IPL, which is hugely popular throughout the world, is a good platform to promote Indian cricketers.
"We are trying to push Indian cricketers forward through the IPL and giving them an opportunity to showcase their talent.
"Lalit Modi created such a good property -- the Indian Premier League -- which has become a huge hit and we don't need to spoil it. The controversies like fixing, court cases and other such things are proving to be a dampener, but the BCCI is trying its best to resolve all the issues," he said at a function, where Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom was named brand ambassador of Super Fight League, India's first professionally-organised mixed martial arts fighting tournament.
Mary expressed confidence that if the 48-kg weight category is included at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro she will definitely take part and win a gold medal.
"I want to change the colour of my medal in Rio. I have heard the AIBA is planning to include six weight categories for women at the Rio Games. We had just three at the London Games so I was forced to change my weight category. If there is 48-kg category at the Rio Olympics, I am sure I will win gold medal," she said.
Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar