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November 1, 2008
Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has said that the Indian board is "very perturbed" at the allegations leveled against the tournament by Arjuna Ranatunga, who heads Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). In the first official reaction by the Indian board, which runs the IPL, Modi - who is also a BCCI vice-president - said Ranatunga's "continuous blasting" of the Twenty20 league was "totally unjustified".
Ranatunga had, during a press conference in Colombo, blamed the IPL for causing a loss of revenue to SLC due to the postponement of Sri Lanka's England tour next year, and said it was unfair that national boards don't benefit financially from the Indian tournament. He has earlier compared the IPL's Twenty20 league to "instant noodles."
Modi said the Indian board has the "best of relationships" with the Sri Lankan management and players, and is "looking for answers" as to why such "hostility exists". The BCCI is "very perturbed by such statements continuously coming out of Sri Lanka" and has conveyed its concern over the issue, he said.
"Ranatunga is totally unjustified in his continuous blasting of IPL," Modi told Cricinfo. "At a meeting held in Bangkok a few weeks ago where BCCI officials met the Sri Lankan management - both board and government representatives - the BCCI secretary (N Srinivasan) had clearly pointed out that it had no idea why such hostility exists. We are looking for answers. We hope to find a solution which is beneficial to both boards at the earliest. The officials were also quite perturbed that the situation had escalated to where it is today and were also looking for answers."
Elaborating on Sri Lanka's tour of England, which would have clashed with the IPL, Modi said, "We prepared our schedule as per the FTP, which is prepared years in advance, and we signed the players for a certain term based on that. Both Sri Lanka board officials and players were in the knowledge of the schedule. The ECB invited Sri Lanka without knowing that the players had already received a NOC to play for the IPL from the Sri Lankan board.
"Besides, if you go by the FTP, there was an additional tri-series scheduled between India, Sri Lanka and South Africa (during that period), which was to be confirmed by all parties. Therefore Sri Lanka should not have signed the MoU with ECB without first taking into account the above two issues."
Modi said the IPL will continue to monitor Sri Lanka's position and "take a call at the appropriate time" on whether it would impact new signings for the next season. Asked about Ranatunga's plans to ensure that SLC profits from its players' IPL contracts in the form of commissions, Modi said that the IPL never pays "any commissions to anyone".
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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