India news September 23, 2009

BCCI resolves IMG dispute

The Indian board has resolved the IMG dispute and will announce a fresh contract that will pay the sports management firm an annual fee between Rs 25 and 27 crore (US$5.5m approximately). The issue will be on the agenda during the BCCI's annual general meeting (AGM) on Thursday in Mumbai.

The BCCI had recently terminated their contract with IMG, citing disagreements over payments for the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was held in South Africa. IMG had quoted a fee of Rs 33 crore (US6.7$m), which the BCCI felt was unreasonable.

Subsequently, the BCCI working committee authorised its president Shashank Manohar to act as a mediator and report back to the board at the AGM. Though both Manohar and IMG were unavailable for comment, the issue seems to have been resolved amicably with a new deal under which IMG would be paid a fixed annual fee for the remainder of their ten-year contract (starting 2008-09) originally signed with the BCCI two years ago. In the original deal IMG was paid a certain percent of the IPL earnings, which didn't go down well with a majority of the board members. "There is no issue anymore, tomorrow it will be announced," a top-ranking BCCI official told Cricinfo.

Another key issue that is likely to be sorted is the reimbursement to the eight IPL franchises for the losses they incurred as a result of the tournament being shifted to a foreign country. "We have already been told that it would only happen post Champions League but I'm sure if they would discuss the IPL accounts, the compensation to the franchisees would also be discusssed," a top official at one of the franchises told Cricinfo.

The BCCI is also bound to gather support from its members on the controversial anti-doping code which it refused to sign unless the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped the 'whereabouts' clause for the Indian players. Only a few days ago, reacting to India's National Anti-Doping Agency claim that the Indian government had accepted the WADA code, Manohar maintained there would be no change in the BCCI's stand and the issue would be discussed at the ICC's special meeting on October 6 and 7 in South Africa.

Unlike the last AGM, which attracted a lot of attention due to the elections, this time the limelight will be on the political bigwigs, some of whom are attending the AGM for the first time. Sharad Pawar (Mumbai), Narendra Modi (Gujarat) and Farooq Abdullah (Jammu and Kashmir) are some of the heavyweights expected to attend the meeting.

There is bound to be some controversy, too, as far as the representation from Rajasthan Cricket Association is concerned: the state has seen power change hands twice this year with the latest being members passing a no-confidence motion against Sanjay Dixit, the man who had displaced Lalit Modi six months ago as RCA president. The RCA has appointed Rajendra Singh Rathod, the current vice-president, to attend the BCCI meeting but Dixit is likely to be present at the Cricket Centre too, to spice up an otherwise subdued AGM.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo