Lalit Modi threatens to take away IPL matches from Jaipur

Embroiled in a series of legal battles and facing dissent in his home association, IPL Chairman Lalit Modi on Monday threatened to shift the Twenty20 matches out of Jaipur, saying the recent FIRs lodged against him were “politically motivated”.

Modi said he has been authorised by the IPL Governing Council to decide on the venue of the IPL matches and shifting them from Jaipur was an option being considered.

“It is going to deter the IPL management from staging matches (in Jaipur). The Governing Council has already taken a decision authorising me to decide whether we should be able to hold matches anywhere, whether it’s one place or x, y, z,” Modi told reporters.

“The option to move matches (out of Jaipur) is available to us. We are looking at alternate venues without doubt. If any government anywhere is going to deter the IPL management from staging matches we would take away those matches and hold them elsewhere,” he added.

A case of cheating was lodged against Modi at a Jaipur police station on Sunday for alleged failure to deposit the entire Rs six crore he publicly promised for the city’s blast victims in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Modi, however, dismissed the accusations as the state government’s ploy to harass him.

“The FIR against me specifically in relation to IPL yesterday is ill-conceived and looks to be politically motivated. Nowhere are complaints registered in the morning and turned into FIRs in the afternoon,” Modi said.

“Every time they file one it is without substance,” he fumed.

He said the IPL was only a facilitator towards donating the Rs 6 crore promised by the League’s franchises and other sponsors and it cannot be held responsible for any lapses.

“Already a sum of Rs 5.2 crore has been deposited into the CM’s Relief Fund and others who had pledged to do so in the wake of the Jaipur bomb blast, I’m told, are doing so,” said Modi, also President of Rajasthan Cricket Association.

“We all felt sorry for what happened and wanted to help. The IPL is only a facilitator.”

The FIR was lodged by an NGO Nagrik Morcha. Modi is also facing charges for allegedly acquiring a piece of land in Nagaur district through unfair means. He has been questioned by police in this regard.

He is also embroiled in a power struggle in the RCA against secretary Subhash Joshi and few district associations which have put up a united front against him.

Modi said Rajasthan Royals, by virtue of winning the IPL in the first season, were given the choice of hosting the final at a venue of their choice and they have opted for Mumbai and specifically the Cricket Club of India.

“From this year the IPL would be directly dealing with the final and semifinals and we have a revenue sharing formula with the franchises. Rajasthan Royals have opted for Mumbai to host the final and their first choice is CCI and the second option we have given is D Y Patil Stadium (in Navi Mumbai),” he said

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