Indian Premier League

Indian board snaps ties with IMG

Nagraj Gollapudi

August 29, 2009

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The Indian cricket board will no longer use the services of IMG, the sports management firm, for conducting the IPL, following a disagreement over payments for the league's second season in South Africa.

N Srinivasan, the BCCI secretary, conveyed the decision to Andrew Wildblood, the IMG vice-president, on Friday through a letter in which he explained that the Indian board's working committee felt that IMG's fee was "disproportionate to the service rendered". Srinivasan did not disclose IMG's fee for conducting and managing the IPL's second season but claimed that the BCCI has paid Rs 42.92 crore to the firm for the first edition in 2008.

Srinivasan claimed in the letter that he and Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, had met Wildblood in London in June for negotiations on the issue and had asked IMG to submit a fresh fee proposal before the BCCI's next working committee on August 13. IMG failed to do so, Srinivasan claimed in the letter and concluded: "Therefore, please note that BCCI has taken a decision not to use IMG service anymore for the IPL tournament."

When contacted, Srinivasan and Wildblood neither confirmed nor denied the development. "I would refrain from making a comment," Srinivsan said. "I am not able to make any comment at this time," Wildblood said. Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, declined to comment too.

The IPL franchises were informed about the decision only on Saturday morning through a separate email sent by league officials, a franchise official confirmed.

Sources in the IPL governing council said they expected IMG to drag the Indian board to court over the issue, but the latest development is on expected lines as the payment to the sports management firm was a matter of debate within the BCCI last year too. One section of officials claimed that the fee was exorbitant and argued that IMG's role was over once the tournament was launched. Others have pointed to the crucial role played by the firm in conceptualizing, implementing and managing the league that has been widely acknowledged as a huge success; this is a view that has been backed by many franchise officials, one of whom said his team would always prefer to have independent professionals managing the IPL.

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Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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