IMG faces trouble over IPL mess

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), keen to clear the mess thrown up in various financial dealings of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has decided to take UK-based event management honchos International Management Group (IMG) ‘to task.’ It is reliably learnt that the IMG deal will be under serious scrutiny during the IPL’s governing council (GC) meeting on Sunday.

Senior members of the BCCI feel that suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi is not the only culprit in the financial bungling. The IMG, which had been hired for an annual fee of Rs 28 crore and were responsible for striking various IPL deals, has equally failed in its job. “The IMG should have been in the know of all these crucial issues. What is the point of paying them this kind of money if the basics have been sent for a toss. There are serious logistical and contractual flaws. The IMG is also to be blamed, not just Modi,” said a top GC functionary.

Last year, some Board members had expressed their reservations to the governing council over the kind of money being paid to IMG. However, thanks to Modi’s backing, the IMG stayed on board. Now, the heat is back on IMG.

The members will also discuss the ticket sales of the IPL-3 final held at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The role of Ticket Genie, a Bangalore-based company, who were the official ticketing agents for the final played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, is under the scanner.

Also on the agenda is the IPL awards contract, which was reportedly given to a leading television channel without floating any tender. “There is absolutely no paper work in this deal,” remarked a senior board official.

The Board believes that IMG should be held accountable for the ticketing and IPL awards dealings. “It seems that there are issues that have been deliberately kept away from the BCCI,” a GC member said. It is further learnt that the number of tickets that went for sale for the IPL final, as recorded in the IPL books, hovers around the 30,000 mark. That too when a sellout crowd had packed the 55,000-seater stadium.

The corporate hospitality tickets, which were reportedly sold for nearly Rs 1 lakh each, are also under scrutiny.

The meeting will also discuss player auction and contract issues besides other things.

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