» Cricket » Modi ignores BCCI diktat, questions Kochi ownership

Modi ignores BCCI diktat, questions Kochi ownership

By Harish Kotian
April 14, 2010 16:48 IST
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Lalit ModiIndian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi on Wednesday ignored the Board of Control for Cricket in India's diktat and took another potshot at the Kochi IPL team owners.

IPL chief Modi pointed out that there are still question marks over the ownership of the Kochi franchise and even some of the stakeholders were also not clear about it.

"In regards to all eight franchises we all know who they [the owners] are, everybody knows who they are. They attend our conferences, they attend our meeting but with regards to Kochi we had some question marks as to who they are. Infact, the people who presented the bid documents themselves did not know who they [the owners] were that is why this issue has come up," Modi said in Mumbai.

The IPL commissioner was reprimanded by BCCI chief Shashank Manohar after he gave out details on the stakeholders of the Kochi franchise on social networking site Twitter.

He revealed that 18 percent of the stakes in Kochi were given free to Tharoor's friend Sunanda Pushkar, which was followed by a row with Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.

"I was told by him [Tharoor] not to get into who owns rendezvous. Specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why? The same has been minuted in my records," Modi wrote on his Twitter page.

He also gave out details on the stake holders stating the complete of stakes involved. "Kochi shareholders are: Rendezvous 25% free, Rendezvous 1%, Anchor 27%, Parinee 26%, Film waves combine 12%,Anand Shyam 8%,Vivek venugopal 1%. Rendezvous free equity - held by Kisan, Shailender and Pushpa Gaikwad, Sunanda Pushkar, Puja Gulathi, Jayant Kotalwar, Vishnu Prasad, Sundip Agarwal."

Following the spat the BCCI president sent out a warning to Modi stating: "I request you to desist from making any statement to the media till this issue is discussed and settled at the next governing council meeting."

But Modi has conveniently ignored all the warnings and thrown an open challenge to the owners of the Kochi franchise. "I have nothing to hide. I have always said that so I am not at all perturbed by anything otherwise I would not be sitting here. At the end of the day, those people had to find something to throw at us, let them throw something substantial that is all I can tell you."

He also made it clear that very soon the IPL would come out with the details of the stake holders in the original eight teams.

"We will give out the exact stakes of the eight teams soon. We will talk to the governing council to find out if there is an issue at all because I don't want to get another legal notice from everybody else," the administrator said.

On Tuesday, Tharoor also slammed Modi, saying that the IPL chief made unethical attempts to thwart Rendezvous Group from taking over the Kochi franchise.

"The unethical efforts that have been made by Modi and others to thwart the Kerala franchise which had been won fair and square in a transparent bidding process are disgraceful. It has been clear for some time that the real motive is to assign this IPL team elsewhere than Kerala. The public attempts by Modi to besmirch the consortium in fact bring the IPL itself into disrepute," he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on reports that he asked Tharoor's office to deny a visa to South African model Gabriella Demetriades, one of the contestants for Miss IPL Bollywood during IPL 2, Modi said: "Those are all frivolous [allegations]. They could not find anything in a mountain and they found one little thing that we asked somebody's visa so that they could not come in. It has not got anything to do with this at all."

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Harish Kotian in Mumbai