Former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi has backed Sunil Gavaskar in his feud with the Board of Control for Cricket in India over alleged non-payment of dues to him, saying the former opener was promised Rs 4 crore per annum.
Gavaskar had lashed out at the board two days ago after his demand of US $one million (Rs 5 crore) per IPL season, which he claimed was due to him for media and governing council-related activities involving the IPL, was turned down by the BCCI.
"A lot is being said in the news about Sunny. I just want to clarify -- yes Sunny was promised the four crores a year by the BCCI for IPL," Modi wrote on Twitter.
"Yes it's due to him for the years he served on the IPL Governing Council. We used his name and credibility when setting up the IPL.
"Getting Sunny on board was done with the help of Mr (Sharad) Pawar - the then president of BCCI. He had negotiated the amount and I as chairman agreed," he added.
Modi, who is facing charges of financial irregularities in the IPL and staying overseas, said Gavaskar's role was critical for the success of IPL and to counter competition from the rival Indian Cricket League (ICL), which had got on board legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev.
"When we launched IPL, ICL was headed by Kapil Dev and we needed all the more reason to have Sunny on our side. Because of Kapil's stature ICL was snapping all the players. So it was important to counter that by bringing in Sunny. ICL was on a roll ," he said.
"ICL made the task more difficult so we had to launch a better and more superior offering to players and fans alike. Credibility was key then. IPL since has made history and will earn BCCI billions of dollars in the coming years. People like Sunny should be rewarded not crucified," he added.
Modi also took a dig at BCCI president N Srinivasan over the scrapping of the deal with broadcast rights holder Nimbus for defaulting on payments.
"First Zee as Treasurer, then Kochi as secretary and now Nimbus. Resulting in thousands of crores loss...what happened to all the transparency?" he asked.