Crown of CEO and Commissioner of IPL is indeed a crown of thorns and Lalit Modi would now have become used to it. He is now become embroiled in the controversy associated with the Kochi franchise where the owners have blamed him for offering money to ease out of the franchise ownership as they do not have the celebrity quotient that is associated with other teams.
During the last season of the IPL, Modi had a running feud with the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the battle attained political connotations when the BJP supported Modi was eased out of the Presidentship of RCA and he also had a spat with the Home Minister, M. Chidambaram when it was decided by the government that owing to security concerns IPL could not be staged in India. It is altogether a different matter by denying this opportunity to IPL when it moved out to South Africa it became a much bigger brand as it got international exposure in bargain.
As a matter of fact IPL has become such a big brand that everybody wants to have a share in the pie by hook or by crook. So, while Shashi Tharoor the Minister of State for External Affairs is being blamed for promoting Sunanda, it is being insinuated that Modi also has a proxy control in two teams of IPL, one Rajasthan Royals and the other Kings XI Punjab.
As far as the allegation that Modi offered bribe to Kochi team as it does not have a quotient of celebrity associated with it, Deccan Chargers falls in the same league. In the same manner Chennai Super Kings do not have a celebrity associated with them, if one leaves aside the celebrity in the form of Shiv Mani who is present in the team matches as a drummer.
AS the canvas of the IPL gets enlarged and more and more offshoots emerge, the controversy would be a natural by-product. One thing that however needs to be emphasized is that IPL as initiative undertaken by the Indian corporate, with skeletal support from the government, is a success story that needs to be studied by the management institutions for replicating the model in other areas in country as well. Besides, to set aside the controversy, state of affairs of the IPL need to be audited independently as well to ensure that its progress is not impeded.
By: Suman Rai