In a fresh development, suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi has made strong allegations against the BCCI President Shashank Manohar and Secretary N Srinivasan, and asked the duo to exclude themselves from the proceedings of the show-cause notice served on him by the cricket board on April 26.
He has also asked the board to appoint an independent body to look into the issue. In a long email sent to the IPL governing council Tuesday evening, Modi has alleged that Manohar and Srinivasan were party to all the developments, including the drafting of the tender documents inviting bids for the two new IPL teams this year, the contract between broadcaster Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd and sports marketing company WSG.
Giving the ongoing battle an interesting twist, Modi has insinuated in his letter that Manohar manipulated the entire bidding process to make sure that the two new franchisees go to the Sahara Group and the Kochi consortium.
“… the ITT (invitation to tender) itself was drafted by the corporate lawyers of BCCI and approved by the in-house counsel Akhila Kaushik, who also happens to be an ex-junior of your father Honorable Mr. VR Manohar and also your confidante having been appointed on your recommendation,” he has said in his email.
He has said the criteria of net-worth of the bidder being $1billion and deposit was specifically discussed between him and Manohar and it was confirmed by Manohar in the meeting of the Governing Council held on March 7. He has described the sequence of the entire bidding, cancellation and the re-bidding process as follows: Till 5th March 2010, which was the deadline for submission of bids, only two bids had been received from Videocon and the Adanis. After the deadline for submitting bids, late in the evening and into the night of March 5 and the morning of March 6, he received calls from former minister of state for foreign affairs Shashi Tharoor and his Secretary Jacob, informing him that a third bid was coming from Delhi.
On March 7 evening, he has said in his email, he was sitting with Manohar at the Four Seasons hotel where a representative of the Kochi franchise came to submit the bid, which Manohar asked him to accept but it could not be accepted because of some technicalities.
Modi has further alleged that because Manohar could not ensure the inclusion of the Kochi bid, he unilaterally decided to cancel the bid process. Modi has said Manohar, then, used his phone to call two executives from the Sahara Group and Dainik Jagran group and asked them to send protest letters seeking a fresh bidding process.
Modi has made allegations against Srinivasan as well. These include using his influence to appoint umpires of his choice, among others. Srinivasan’s attempt to appoint umpires of his choice for a Super Kings’ match, Modi said, was a clear attempt at umpire fixing/match fixing.