BCCI blocks Kings XI Punjab sellout proposals

IPL Cricket

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has rejected a proposal by Kings XI Punjab to transfer 93% to a private equity firm, saying the takeover must wait until investigations against suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi have been concluded.

The BCCI decision further delays a long-drawn-out plan by its owners to sell out, the first by a team participating in the T20 cricket tournament.

A team looking to sell stake must get permission from BCCI, say rules laid out by the IPL governing council. Team owners also have to pay BCCI a transfer fee on a pro-rata value of the franchise. “BCCI has decided to defer the matter till clarity is reached on Modi’s involvement in the Mohali team,” said a senior BCCI official familiar with the matter. “How can we transfer shares unless we know who the owners are,” he said. BCCI secretary N Srinivasan declined comment.

The move is a setback to the plans of Mohali team owners Mohit Burman, Gaurav Burman and Ness Wadia, who together own 93%, to exit the company. The trio, along with actor Preity Zinta who will retain her 7%, had approached BCCI with the sellout proposal after a private equity firm said it would take over the team for nearly $250 million, said another person familiar with the development.

Mohit Burman confirmed the development. “I’m out of the country and have no update. But I believe we haven’t got clearance from BCCI,” he said.

Financial irregularities, including proxy ownership in the Mohali, Jaipur and Kolkata franchises, have been the centerpiece of BCCI’s allegations against Mr Modi, who was suspended in April. Mr Modi replied to a BCCI showcause notice on April 26, saying his relationships with Jaipur team co-owner Suresh Chellaran and the Burmans are publicly-known and BCCI and IPL members had been aware of this all along.

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