Indian Premier League 2010 April 19, 2010

Rescheduled BCCI meeting to probe allegations

Cricinfo staff

The BCCI has pushed back its working committee meeting to look into the controversies surrounding the Kochi franchise, to May 2. The meeting was initially scheduled for April 23, but has been deferred till the end of the IPL and a meeting of the tournament's governing council.

"Working committee meeting has been postponed because all things have to be discussed in the governing council meeting first. There is no point in having a working committee meeting before that," Rajiv Shukla, BCCI's media and finance committee chairman told PTI. "All the allegations [against Modi] and other issues would be discussed in the governing council. The date would be announced soon," he said.

The BCCI's first official response to the controversy, which broke last weekend when Lalit Modi disclosed the details of the Kochi franchise ownership, was a statement on April 13 that a meeting of the IPL Governing Council would be convened "within 10 days to discuss all the issues and take a decision". It is now clear that deadline will not be met, though no explanation has been given for the delay.

The controversy was triggered by an update on Lalit Modi's twitter account that questioned the ownership structure of the Kochi consortium, particularly the nature of equity owned by Sunanda Pushkar, who is a friend of Shashi Tharoor, a cabinet minister in the Indian government. Ms. Pushkar has since given up her stake in the franchise, while Tharoor was forced to resign from his office, over allegations of conflict of interest in his mentoring of the consortium.

One fallout of Modi's Twitter revelation was to swing the spotlight on the IPL's financial dealings, and on Sunday the BCCI said it had received a summons from the income-tax department to furnish complete details of all eight original Indian Premier League franchises, who were successful bidders for the city-based teams in January 2008, on April 23. The taxmen have already carried out inspections of the IPL's offices and Modi's residence in Mumbai and also the Kings XI Punjab franchise office in Mohali.

"Day before yesterday they had asked for details only about the two new franchises - their shareholding patterns, addresses, player auction and bidding process. Now they want us to furnish all the details about the eight other franchises too," the BCCI's chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty had said.