India news September 9, 2011

Modi says BCCI couldn't help IPL scheduling

Lalit Modi, the former IPL commissioner, has said there was nothing much the BCCI could do about staging the Twenty20 tournament immediately after the 2011 World Cup and that the problem could recur every time there is a World Cup.

The Indian board came under scrutiny for their scheduling of the IPL, with some pointing to an overload of cricket as the reason for India's poor performance and the numerous injuries on the tour of England. Modi said the volume of cricket being played was the reason for India's poor results, but said the board couldn't help hosting the IPL in April-May, since that was usually the end of India's season.

"The IPL is a long tournament without doubt," Modi told ESPNcricinfo at The Oval, where he was watching the third ODI between England and India. "It is scheduled in the Indian summer during April and May. Usually the IPL takes place at the end of the season so the boys should be able to go out there and play and have a good time. That was the original idea. But this year had a World Cup and having a competitive tour like England became an issue. It could be a problem every World Cup year.

"There is too much cricket in the calendar. The boys had put a lot into the World Cup to win it. They were tired. I have always said players need to rest when they think they need it. Everybody can't play every game. You need to be able to choose what you need to play. That seems to be a big problem."

Some analysts reckon that India slipping down the ICC rankings in Tests and ODIs could have a negative impact on the IPL, causing the sponsors and marketing men to re-evaluate the tournament's value. Modi did not agree. "I don't think there is an impact. The IPL brand is well established."

He also pointed out the advantages Indian cricket has reaped because of the tournament. "The IPL has brought in a lot of good cricketers. If you look at India's standing in the ICC rankings before the IPL and three years later, you can see the IPL has been a positive influence. Look at the number of players that have gained national recognition because of the IPL."

Modi is currently living in England, and has had his passport revoked by the Mumbai Regional Passport Office. He is currently facing legal proceedings against him from the BCCI and the Chennai Police over alleged misappropriations of IPL funds, and India's Enforcement Directorate over potential foreign exchange violations related to the second season of the IPL in South Africa.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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