Lalit Modi’s days as IPL Commissioner appeared to be numbered as Sharad Pawar met BCCI chief Shashank Manohar and announced that the league’s Governing Council will meet on April 26 to take a “collective and unanimous” decision on his continuance.
“Our (BCCI) total approach in the Governing Council will be they will take collective, unanimous decisions, and give future direction to Indian cricket,” Pawar told reporters after Manohar flew in from Nagpur and discussed the “entire IPL situation”.
Asked whether Modi would have to resign, he said, “If the authority is vested with the Governing Council, neither Sharad Pawar nor Shashank Manohar is interested to interfere in the basic right of all the members.” He said the board always took decisions collectively and unanimously.
Asked whether Modi would accept the Governing Council decision, he said, “Don’t forget Mr Modi is also a vice president of the BCCI and our total approach and past experience, we always take collective and unanimous decision where everyone is party to, including Lalit Modi.” Pawar said Manohar suggested that Modi should call the Governing Council meeting on April 26 in Mumbai.
“I am absolutely confident of the leadership Mr Manohar is giving to Indian cricket. The IPL Governing Council will meet to resolve the entire issue. The total efforts will be to protect the interest of Indian cricket, the cricket loving public and the players,” Pawar said.
Asked whether he wants Modi to quit, Manohar said his personal views don’t count. All the issue would be discussed in the governing council meeting. To a question whether the majority in the BCCI wants Modi to go, Manohar said he has not talked to other members.
Meanwhile, Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, NCP MP, today categorically denied that either her husband or anyone in the family had any shareholding in the IPL teams.
“I say with full conviction that my husband (Sadanand Sule) or family has nothing to do with any of these issues. We always stay miles away from it. Yes, we are avid cricket watchers, my husband, my kids, my family all and that’s where the buck stops,” Sule said.
Likewise, Praful Patel, a senior NCP leader, also rejected allegations that he or his relatives had any stakeholding in any IPL teams and said he was prepared for any inquiry so that truth will come out.
“I have nothing to do with BCCI, IPL or its bidding process. It’s a slander campaign against me. I don’t know who is behind these reports. I’m ready to face any probe. It will bring out truth and prove these reports wrong. The probe will completely clear the air,” Patel said.
Modi triggered the entire controversy by tweeting the Kochi franchise’s stakeholding pattern, which also brought the cricket board under the Income Tax department’s scanner. Modi himself is under fire for allegedly helping his family and friends buy stakes in various IPL teams.
His tweets about Kochi’s shareholding created a political storm as it emerged that Minister of State for External Affair Shashi Tharoor’s close friend Sunanda Pushkar had a sweat equity worth Rs 70 crore. Tharoor had to resign, while Pushkar also gave up her stake in Kochi franchise.