IPL mess September 7, 2011

We weren't vigilant in handling IPL deals - Srinivasan

ESPNcricinfo staff

The BCCI president-elect, N Srinivasan, has admitted that the board was not vigilant in tackling financial irregularities in the IPL under Lalit Modi's watch, the Times of India has reported. Srinivasan, testifying before a parliamentary standing committee investigation into the IPL's finances, said that pleading ignorance of Modi's ways could not be an excuse - a significant change from the board's earlier stand on the issue.

The Times of India says it has a copy of the standing committee's report, which has Srinivasan stating on record: "We were taken for a ride. I know we cannot plead before you that we did not know all this was happening. Your question would be, were you not vigilant? What did you do? I am sorry, sir, there is no defence for me. No defence in front of you. So, I am not pleading that [ignorance] at all. We just put our heads down."

The newspaper also reports that the board president Shashank Manohar admitted that the cheques for all IPL deals were signed by Srinivasan, the then BCCI treasurer, and subsequently MP Pandove who replaced him, and not by Modi. The board had previously put the blame on Modi's shoulders, claiming that he had enjoyed a free hand in running the league.

The revelations add a new layer to the board's ongoing tussle against the Indian government's efforts to bring the body under the transparency-enhancing Right to Information (RTI) Act, and a proposed bill to regulate Indian sports bodies. The BCCI's argument against the RTI is that it doesn't rely on government grants. The standing committee has, however, reportedly noted that a "coherent and consistent policy should be devised for the future whereby high-profile money-spinning events such as the IPL are not kept out of the ambit of law and taxability".

The committee also reportedly noted that the BCCI "meekly endorsed and approved decisions that were taken by the chairman [Modi] and all those responsible in breaching the law should be investigated and punished without further loss of time".

"When we questioned them [Srinivasan and Manohar], they had absolutely no answers," Vijay Darda, member of the standing committee and a Rajya Sabha (the parliament's council of states) MP, told the Times of India. "With folded hands they just stood there and admitted they had no explanations to offer. The problem with BCCI is too much money and too many big names involved in the administration. Sharad Pawar [ICC president], Farooq Abdullah, Arun Jaitley and all politicians want to be part of it."

Darda also raised the issue of the IPL's dubious money trails, which was revealed by the committee's investigations. "It was harrowing when we went through the records," he said. "Money transferred from some tax haven to some other tax haven finally ends up with some connection in IPL. The committee wants to know what has been going on. We will have to ensure that they are brought to account.

"Monopoly is an issue too. If the board is brought under RTI, the ordinary cricket fan will at least know what he's paying for. Far too much is either unaccountable or being swept under the carpet."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Romenevans on September 8, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Well Well Well, I just heard on the news that bidding for BCCI's telecom rights and sponsorship, none of the companies wants it now and only 1 company sent their bidding which was 2 crores, and the min. bid amount was 3 crores from BCCI. LOL! And BCCI was expecting 240 crores worth of bidding from major telecom companies. LOL this is what will happen if these BCCI money mnchers still won't wake up. Airtel lost interest in CLT20's sponsorship and now this. This is just the beginning, wait and watch the consequences of arrogance shown by BCCI to the loyal fans that want to see "India" Playing not some club from Chennai or Mumbai.

  • BapiDas on September 8, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    ONE word sums it up ...... PATHETIC!!!!

  • dummy4fb on September 8, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Buddys! it is all in our hands, the cricket crazy Indian fans , who think it is a prestige to spend money and go and watch it live! Boycott the stadiums totally for a couple of matches (and watch from the comfort of your home), it will bring the BCCI down on its knees! BCCI could be happy with half full stadiums who come to watch on complimentary passes anyway!

  • dummy4fb on September 8, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Why blame IPL ??? ok BCCI is making money out of it, ok if players are making money out of it. Has anyone ever gave a thought that why only Indian players are getting injured, is it really due to fatigue ?? I strongly say it is not, it is just that these guys are not disciplined in their personal lives, You see hanging out in late night parties after a hectic match is the problem. Why Dhoni is so fit, he has played as many number of matches as anyone else, and most importantly he does the most tiring job in cricket, that is wicket keeping. Dhoni is also reaching to 30 now. If players will not adapt themselves to the changing cricket, then they will struggle with their fitness. Fitness is not how much they can do, it is about discipline in their life. To remain Fit, one needs to be disciplined in terms of food, sleep and workouts. I agree with the money making IPL stuff, but we should not deny the fact that very few Indian players do concentrate on agility and endurance aspect.

  • nipo10847 on September 8, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Shut it down! IPL= Formula to destroy cricket forever.

  • Romenevans on September 8, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    There was no need for CLT20, but they started it because they wanted to and follow what English premier league and other European football leagues does. But they need to understand that both the sports are different and fan following too. To me IPL is like a "Daily Soap" serials series. I mean common! Its like "Watch IPL for 2 months everyday at 4PM and 8PM, DON'T FORGET TO WATCH IT" LOL. The brand value will go down surely if indian players will perform like this in international matches. Just imagine will mumbai indian fans love watching sachin tendulkar in CLT20 after he performed so poorly in tests and now injured for ODI? No, they won't! So they have to think for teh country perspective first, else IPL is going nowhere. Money and sponsors comes when the viewers watch these matches, but if you'll turn off these loyal fans with yoru arrogance, then sorry, you're on the wrong track, BCCI!

  • sachinsjaihindustan on September 8, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    Amit Patel you are absolutely right!! IPL should be shut down forever. The obsession amongst the Indian players and public for the IPL is just pathetic. After winning the World Cup, the Indian players should have been preparing properly for the England tour, by at least playing some county cricket. Instead they played IPL, which was absolutrely useless for honing their skills for test matches, especially against tough opponents. As a result, they deservedly got thrashed 4-0. Hopefully by shutting down IPL, the Indian players, board and management will learn from this.

  • dummy4fb on September 8, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    shut the IPL DOWN FOR EVER .

  • dummy4fb on September 7, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Simple solution is Play IPL once in four years like Worldcup. Why the need for playing it each year...tiring players and then producing second/ third grade team to represent India in test / ODIs (We dont need 40 players pool. Best 15 are good enough)... whats it going to do any good for India..... Also some gentle man mentioned we won worldcup because of IPL.... Well if bowlers cant bowl yorkers and learn it from 20-20 winning WC is far off statement...

  • dpac on September 7, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    We all know that IPL is here to stay and BCCI will not scrap it. India won WC2011 even after playing in IPL. However, the number of matches in IPL are too many. BCCI can reduced the number of teams which will reduce the number of matches and improve quality. The schedule has too be less hectic for players. Also, the players should prioritize sometimes. They should be willing to forgo IPL matches for prolonging there international career. Any smart cricketer would do that !!!

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