BCCI bigwigs are set to give it a miss in the wake of the spat with Lalit Modi but the inaugural Indian Premier League awards still promise to be a glitzy affair here on Friday.
The Awards Night, to honour the best-performing players in the IPL over the last month and a half, is planned to be a Bollywood-style entertainment extravaganza in which Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar are to be the co-hosts.
Invitations for the awards function have been sent to all the BCCI and IPL’s Governing Council members, all the franchise owners, players and support staff, along with the owners of the two new teams — Kochi and Pune — which are to make their debut in the league in 2011.
But if the BCCI officials, notably President Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srinivasan and his predecessor Niranjan Shah – also the current vice chairman of its sub-committee IPL – choose to give it a short shrift, it would come as a bit of dampener.
“We can’t take a roll call and find out who all would be attending it. Whoever wants would be at the function,” BCCI sources said on Thursday but according to latest indications none of them would grace the occasion.
The awards function could also be the last time IPL Commissioner Modi, whose tenure at the helm of affairs is hanging by a thin thread, will be calling the shots at the Board’s precincts as a strong lobby is working towards removing him from the post in the wake of the huge controvers surrounding it.
Among the jury panel is former India captain Sunil Gavaskar who is also a GC member while Modi is its convener.
There are two other ex-cricketers in the Council – former captains Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Ravi Shastri.
If the top bosses of BCCI skip the awards ceremony, as is expected in some quarters, it would amount to an indirect slap on the cricketers who have sweated it out for close to six weeks.
A total of 22 categories of awards, including nine jury awards, would be given away, but the suspense remains as to the persons who would attend it from the cricket administration.
Reporters from the print and electronic media have been excluded from the function while photographers and TV camera crew would be able to shoot the proceedings.
A further embarrassment awaits Modi who is considering moving the court to stop the April 26 governing council meeting which has been convened by BCCI secretary Srinivasan.
The BCCI top brass might also not attend the grand final of the Twenty20 tournament between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, which is owned by Srinivasan’s India Cements Group, according to sources.