April 14, 2010

Enough with the secrecy

The Kochi franchise ruckus may finally force the BCCI into being transparent. About time too
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Finally, it has happened - perhaps by accident than by design, but happened nonetheless. The world's fastest-growing sports league, recently valued at $4.1 billion, has revealed the shareholding pattern of one of its two new franchises. Lalit Modi has done the right thing in the wrong way - on his Twitter feed instead of in front of the media - and for reasons unknown, and there are at least three other franchises whose ownership pattern we would love to know.

But it's a start.

One of the main issues with the IPL has always been its transparency; not its threat to the rest of cricket, not its arrogance, nor even the obscene and slightly unreal regularity with which it announced multi-million-dollar deals, but its penchant for grey areas. So far the rest of the cricket world has played ball - and those who can't join 'em beat themselves in frustration. Now, though, the time has come for a change.

In its only official reaction to the Kochi case - the charges levelled by Shashi Tharoor against Lalit Modi, the letter from BCCI president Shashank Manohar to Modi and the latter's response - the BCCI has said it will meet within 10 days and discuss all pending issues. This is not good enough - and not just because one can predict the fate of such "discussions". There is, simply put, too much at stake - the reputation of some of the most powerful men in world cricket, to begin with - and too much muck flying around.

The charges against Tharoor are best handled by the political system; they are not really germane to cricket, except where they show up the inadequacies of the BCCI's/IPL's basic auditing and safeguarding process. Far more threatening to it are the charges levelled against Modi, a man who has, almost single-handedly, created a billion-dollar industry and changed the nature of cricket, a man whose genius - there is no other word - has transformed the lives of hundreds of people directly connected with the game, and thousands, millions, at several removes.

Yet such is the gravity of Tharoor's charges that, should they stick, all of that could be in danger - all those million-dollar deals, the billion-dollar valuations, the TV ratings, the de facto primacy of Twenty20 over other forms of cricket. Everything is at risk.

What does Tharoor - no ordinary member of the public but a minister in the federal government and formerly the No. 2 at the United Nations - accuse Modi of? These are extracts from his statement issued overnight: "Attempts were made by Mr Modi and others to pressure the consortium members to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different stateā€¦" "His extraordinary breach of all propriety in publicly raising issues relating to the composition of the consortium and myself personally is clearly an attempt to discredit the team and create reasons to disqualify it so that the franchise can be awarded elsewhere." "The unethical efforts that have been made by Mr Modi and others to thwart the Kerala franchise which had been won fair and square in a transparent bidding process are disgraceful."

What Modi is being accused of is, effectively, subverting the rules of his own game, undermining the very system he had set up. It's one thing if he was the sole player - quite another when the stakes are as high as a $333.3 million franchise. It is for this reason that the BCCI - the custodian of the IPL and all Indian cricket - needs to act fast. This is a stone cast not just at Modi but at every individual on the IPL governing council, every member of the BCCI's working committee - and, by extension, every single person who has any stake in the IPL. And, indeed, the media.

For too long Indian cricket has been living in an unreal world. Unreal at various levels - the entire notion of the Indian board being a trust (and so saving millions of dollars in taxes), instead of a corporate entity sitting on a billion-dollar empire, or the notion of the IPL being a "domestic league"

This is not about one deal - the implications are far more serious. That is why it is important to get the truth out in the open, and get it out fast. This cannot - more importantly, should not - be brazened out, as is the BCCI's standard operating procedure in the face of any threat. This time the threat comes not from a clearly identified foreign board; it is from much closer home.

There are far too many questions surrounding the auction of the two franchises. Why was the auction deferred on the day it was supposed to have been held? The explanation for the deferment given at the time was that the financial clauses were too stringent. Was that not an issue in the days and weeks before that? The new bids were opened on March 21; the agreement with the Kochi consortium was signed on the night of April 10 - 20 days later. Why the delay? Correspondence between Shashank Manohar and Modi suggests the issue of ownership had been discussed - and questions raised - long before the shareholding pattern was revealed on Sunday afternoon. If there were doubts over the credibility of the successful bidders, could that not have been sorted out before the bids were opened? Could due diligence on the bidders not have been done? I am no legal or financial wiz, but it does strike me as common sense to do a basic fact-check before allowing someone to sit at your table and share in a very lucrative pie.

For too long Indian cricket has been living in an unreal world. Unreal at various levels - the entire notion of the Indian board being a trust (and so saving millions of dollars in taxes), instead of a corporate entity sitting on a billion-dollar empire, or the notion of the IPL being a "domestic league". It is time to get real, to play the part of one of the world's leading sports tournaments, among the most innovative and certainly among the richest. Forget the money, there are too many livelihoods riding on the IPL.

What should the BCCI do now? That's the tricky question. The Indian board doesn't have the credibility to ensure a thorough investigation of the Kochi case from within - that job could, given the money involved, be handed over to criminal investigators, as the opposition party, the BJP has suggested - but it could set the ball rolling by ensuring the nine other franchises declare their ownership structure. And making public its own accounts.

The regime of Manohar and Srinivasan, which has ruled over the Indian board for the past two years, has been likened to the Kremlin for the secrecy with which it operates. Well, now is the time for some perestroika and some glasnost.

Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of Cricinfo in India

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    In less than 2 or 3 months, this whole issue would be forgotten. What investigation?? I dont remember any investigation where the "big" culprits have been nabbed and punished ! Need not worry, in few weeks, The Govt. of India, BCCI, IPL and Kochi franchise, would all "join hands" to become friends and "cover up" this issue. Nothing new about this (avoidable) Indian culture and nothing new with Indian cricket.

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    IPL is a disappointment to us cricket lovers. Yes, it is providing us with some exciting cricket, but there are many things that are wrong. It seems that "colonials" are holding nearly all positions. Coaching, commentators, interviewers, etc. Oh not to mention "so called dancers" What happen, Indian girls do not know how to dance? And where are girls of African descent. Is the IPL still under the shackles of a"colonial mentality". Have we forgotten the persecution India suffered AT THE HANDS OF IT COLONIAL MASTERS PRIOR TO 1947? Re our own people who are now in power becoming the "new colonial mastars"? With respect to Lalit Modi. Inasmuch as he has done such a good jo with the IPL, he still has the responsibility to answer to us, the cricket fans. No wheeling and dealing. I hope that this scandal will soon pass and we can all cocentrate on cricket alone

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    Well, well, well. I know it was only amatter of time that "the fish would smell". It appears that mainstream India has not yet gotten rid of the class ans "caste" system. It is a country where the rich and powerful is unwilling to allow oters supposedly lower that them in status to rise to their level. So we use any means necessary to keep them down. The rich and powerful are using their power and position to thwart the proper procedure to procure a franchise.

    Modi has acted in a way that is unbecoming one holding a position like he is holding. Millions of cricket lovers are watching theIPL. So he has betrayed those millions.

  • dhchdh on April 16, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    hmmm judging by the entire charade...Just how much is IPL worth??? I guess its a lot more than $4 billion. BBCI & Modi must be privately extremely happy.

  • NewYorkCricket on April 16, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    This is a glimpse of everyday political games that are played among the rich and famous in India. There was a clear interest to promote Ahmedabad from Modi & Modi Co. They found a chink in Kochi's bidding and are taking full advantage of it. The question rignt now is, did the named lady recieve a free stake in the franchise. If she did then the motive has to made public. It is very vital for the sake of a successful IPL in the long run to remove corruption today, doesn't matter which side it is coming from

  • ww113 on April 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Mr.Gupta has called for Perestorika and Glasnost.Well,these ideas played a big part in the demise of the Soviet Union.The Indian board doesn't need them. And hey,greed is good ! Mr.Modi has underlined this.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 16, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Twitter is a good medium for releasing info to people and far better than calling a "press conference". As it is most journalists follow twitter posts of celebs as do the normal folk. Twitter posts lends itself to clarity and not open to journalistic misinterpretation and agenda laden spin which we otherwise generally see in "news" on the channels and newspapers. Besides, Twitter posts are matter of fact in contrast to the buch of unregulated and seemingly uneducated journalists posing questions that are either irrelevant, dumb or loaded. The larger issue is not the IPL's functioning but the unknown faces orchestrating the bidding and powerplay behind the big bucks IPL franchises. As usual, the media and the "intelligentsia" are running behind the wrong issue!

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly, said Gill.

    But TOI discovered it wasn't a drug charge against Modi -- it was something else. Here are two reports of March and April 1985 in a local paper, Times-News, Hendersonville, North Carolina, that gives the real story.

    The first report appeared on March 1, 1985, headlined 'Drug buyers robbed at gunpoint'.

    See the conspirator's ability . No wonder he can manipulates things in shrewd way .

    TheOnlyEmperor any comments on this criminal back grounds

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly, said Gill.

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    See the message from the Minister Gill on this Mod iepisode

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly..

    Any way modi has rubbed the wrong shoulder and opened the Pandora's box and he has to face the music now. TOI reported the details of his crimes in US when he was a student and shown the extent of his conspirancy . No wnder he can establish a set up like IPL in short time. His relatives can get lot of contracts . "only emporor any comments on "this TOI news

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    In less than 2 or 3 months, this whole issue would be forgotten. What investigation?? I dont remember any investigation where the "big" culprits have been nabbed and punished ! Need not worry, in few weeks, The Govt. of India, BCCI, IPL and Kochi franchise, would all "join hands" to become friends and "cover up" this issue. Nothing new about this (avoidable) Indian culture and nothing new with Indian cricket.

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    IPL is a disappointment to us cricket lovers. Yes, it is providing us with some exciting cricket, but there are many things that are wrong. It seems that "colonials" are holding nearly all positions. Coaching, commentators, interviewers, etc. Oh not to mention "so called dancers" What happen, Indian girls do not know how to dance? And where are girls of African descent. Is the IPL still under the shackles of a"colonial mentality". Have we forgotten the persecution India suffered AT THE HANDS OF IT COLONIAL MASTERS PRIOR TO 1947? Re our own people who are now in power becoming the "new colonial mastars"? With respect to Lalit Modi. Inasmuch as he has done such a good jo with the IPL, he still has the responsibility to answer to us, the cricket fans. No wheeling and dealing. I hope that this scandal will soon pass and we can all cocentrate on cricket alone

  • on April 17, 2010, 4:05 GMT

    Well, well, well. I know it was only amatter of time that "the fish would smell". It appears that mainstream India has not yet gotten rid of the class ans "caste" system. It is a country where the rich and powerful is unwilling to allow oters supposedly lower that them in status to rise to their level. So we use any means necessary to keep them down. The rich and powerful are using their power and position to thwart the proper procedure to procure a franchise.

    Modi has acted in a way that is unbecoming one holding a position like he is holding. Millions of cricket lovers are watching theIPL. So he has betrayed those millions.

  • dhchdh on April 16, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    hmmm judging by the entire charade...Just how much is IPL worth??? I guess its a lot more than $4 billion. BBCI & Modi must be privately extremely happy.

  • NewYorkCricket on April 16, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    This is a glimpse of everyday political games that are played among the rich and famous in India. There was a clear interest to promote Ahmedabad from Modi & Modi Co. They found a chink in Kochi's bidding and are taking full advantage of it. The question rignt now is, did the named lady recieve a free stake in the franchise. If she did then the motive has to made public. It is very vital for the sake of a successful IPL in the long run to remove corruption today, doesn't matter which side it is coming from

  • ww113 on April 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Mr.Gupta has called for Perestorika and Glasnost.Well,these ideas played a big part in the demise of the Soviet Union.The Indian board doesn't need them. And hey,greed is good ! Mr.Modi has underlined this.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 16, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Twitter is a good medium for releasing info to people and far better than calling a "press conference". As it is most journalists follow twitter posts of celebs as do the normal folk. Twitter posts lends itself to clarity and not open to journalistic misinterpretation and agenda laden spin which we otherwise generally see in "news" on the channels and newspapers. Besides, Twitter posts are matter of fact in contrast to the buch of unregulated and seemingly uneducated journalists posing questions that are either irrelevant, dumb or loaded. The larger issue is not the IPL's functioning but the unknown faces orchestrating the bidding and powerplay behind the big bucks IPL franchises. As usual, the media and the "intelligentsia" are running behind the wrong issue!

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly, said Gill.

    But TOI discovered it wasn't a drug charge against Modi -- it was something else. Here are two reports of March and April 1985 in a local paper, Times-News, Hendersonville, North Carolina, that gives the real story.

    The first report appeared on March 1, 1985, headlined 'Drug buyers robbed at gunpoint'.

    See the conspirator's ability . No wonder he can manipulates things in shrewd way .

    TheOnlyEmperor any comments on this criminal back grounds

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly, said Gill.

  • philipss on April 16, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    See the message from the Minister Gill on this Mod iepisode

    Accountability should be there. Democracy applies everywhere. Democracy is like a sunflower which seeks sunshine. Therefore all institutions should work accordingly..

    Any way modi has rubbed the wrong shoulder and opened the Pandora's box and he has to face the music now. TOI reported the details of his crimes in US when he was a student and shown the extent of his conspirancy . No wnder he can establish a set up like IPL in short time. His relatives can get lot of contracts . "only emporor any comments on "this TOI news

  • prasanth.kongati on April 15, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    I am waiting for a day when a gentlemen like Sachin Tendulkar take over administration of cricket and master it the same way as he did for cricket batting. It is very high time now Modi stop behaving monarchous and some one should really clip his wings. If he were to make some announcements of public interest , he has to call to journalists and announce the same not on the tinky-funky twitter site. He should be learning some brains before he does some thing of that sort.

  • kdcricket on April 15, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    @ Vamsee Mohan Kanneganti....NFL took 89 years...IPL is valued @ $4.1 billion in 2 years(that's it!!!), so lets not undervalue a fact which is very straight.Neither brands nor their recall are established overnight, but IPL seems to be an aberration. Now coming back to Modi, I believe this is a serious corporate governance issue and legal intervention is required.

  • IndiaGoats on April 15, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    Alex - how about Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel getting their nose in for Gujarat? Is that not political interference? How about Vasundhara Raje getting her way with Rajasthan? What is wrong with a politician rooting for his constituency as long as he is not doing anything illegal? Don't get me wrong - if Tharoor is guilty of benefitting financially from all this, he should be kicked out. But so too should all the other politicians in the same situation.

    OnlyEmperor - Is there a reason all shareholders should be listed in the public? What if someone wants to invest but not be in the public eye? As long as the source of money is clearly identified to the government, Modi has no business leaking such information. It is the job of the government and IT department to investigate such issues. And if this disclosure is against the auction contract rules, Modi should be pulled up and kicked out of IPL.

  • dionsen on April 15, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    This format has been in operation long before Modi, he has only copied and modified but successfully. The way he conducts himself and behaves as if the IPL is his personal fiefdom and the arrogant way he talks to the media is unbecoming of the BCCI. A thorough investigation is in order with probes on the other franchises as well some which are held in proxy by other members of his family. The R.Royals are a case in point. The MODI/ MODI nexus should be probed as well. There is no doubt he has broken his own rules by coming out with all these allegations on a public forum like twitter.

    Dion Dion

  • Zaheerahmed on April 15, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    This is just tip of the iceberg. The nexus of Indian politics and dirty bollywood money cannot produce fair play. The more you would dig into IPL the more controversies would be surfaced.

  • on April 15, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    @lakx

    You can still explain me how millions are affected by IPL

    Your school bus example is something related to death and fear not frolic and entertainment..and am still waiting to hear from u how my comments are irrelevant..and the current fiasco is a case in point..india does not have transparency..its all hype and hoopla that makes money here.. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/50-Indians-living-below-poverty-line-Govt-panel/articleshow/4722478.cmsto hea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India

  • AmitSinhaDelhi on April 15, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    Remember The ZEE v/s ESPN case a few years ago? Zee won a bid, ESPN sued BCCI and got the bid award canceled. BCCI did not put up a credible defense and basically ZEE alleged a collusion between BCCI and ESPN. Tharoor is implying a similar thing now. Nothing happened then,...nothing will happen now. The answer to the issue of "cricket being too large an industry" will be to strip the BCCI of monopoly powers. What one then needs is a regulator (which can be BCCI) and a host of different enterprises participating in the cricket economy. A monopoly should not be allowed to bulldoze away a good idea (such as the ICL) and use the same idea to create humungous profits for itself.

  • BapiDas on April 15, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    I think it is only equitable that proper Tax must be collected for the public exchequer and every single stake holder in the IPL is forced to disclose the value of his/her stake. Let IPL become even richer but at the same time let 'people' derive benefits through revenues earned by the Government treasuries. It does not realy matter who the franchise owners are as long as they are forced to disclose what they are worth and be taxed.

  • Rahul_78 on April 15, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Well thought off, well writtern article. But author seems to be giving mr.tharoor too much leaway. Agreed its all murky and shody in lalits world but there are few questions that needs answer from union minister also. Mr.tharoor went on record saying he called lalit in iritation and out of concern to ask why he is delaying the process to award the franchiese. Should a union minister be making call on behalf of a private investment consortium to inquire the delaying matter? The lady sunanda has been awarded equity worth crores. Cochis owner are saying they have made agreement of paying these so called 75 crores over the period of 10 yrs. Who pays a person managing brand names and events 7.5 crores a year? This is rediculous. Modi is a businessmen and it is his own empior where millions r spend and billions r made. But I guess the empire needs to abide by some rules to work smoothly, in doing otherwise he has shot himslef in the foot as writely pointed by auther.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 15, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    contd... It's apparent, that that the BCCI bosses and Modi are not on the same page regarding the Kochi franchisee ownership issue. My reading is that, the BCCI in its characteristic style, would have wanted Modi to give the entire issue of stakeholding pattern a wink and not get into too much probing. After all, who is Modi to question when the Enforcement Directorate and the IT Dept are all quiet about the source / utilisation of funds by the various franchisees? Modi wants to keep IPL clean. He knows any scandal will cast dirt on him. He would be held accountable and questioned for not conducting due diligence and asking the right questions ultimately. Modi made things public, only when he realised that the murky Kochi franchisee dealings was being ignored by BCCI. BCCI hides its office bearers as a monolith. Modi is IPL. Why shdn't he protect himself and be a fall guy if and when things go wrong - especially when BCCI won't cover his back? I would do exactly what Modi did!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on April 15, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    I'm with Modi all the way! Why should Tharoor step into cricket for bringing cricket into his state. Imagine the Gandhis wanting to create an Amethi franchisee! Keep the politicians out! Giving away 5% as sweat equity valued at many 10s of crores to somebody who is a professional nobody is just not done and to use that justification is clearly a cover-up, which any "professional" can see. There are excellent "genuine" professionals to do that job in India, for 1/10th that cost. Modi, has many a person in the BCCI, in the cricketing world, in the political world, in the media, plotting his downfall. He doesn't have a support base or a powerful godfather. People are envious of his creation the IPL. There was no other way he could have exposed the Kochi invisible stockholding and brought it into the public light for discussion. I don't care how he did it as long as he exposed them. I think the Kochi franchisee needs to be barred for unbecoming conduct anyway!

  • venucool on April 15, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Even check the sponsers. One of sponsers of KKR (XXX Drinks-JM Joshi (Manikchand's ex-partner)-Dubai) is Dawood Ibrahim's man.

  • on April 15, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Did not quite understand what your first point was about. Why is the "first" mistake to make revelations on Twitter instead of "media"? Why is Twitter any different from any other kind of "media"?

  • SJ_NR on April 15, 2010, 3:06 GMT

    Quote: "...has been likened to the Kremlin for the secrecy with which it operates. Well, now is the time for some perestroika and some glasnost. " Bring in Gorbachev, please do not trust BCCI in any form - Shashank, Srini, Saleem or Simon will not do it.

  • Sriram_Krishnamurthy on April 15, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    I, for one, cannot agree with Modi being called a "Genius" etc. The format and the idea has been copied from EPL and the whole thing had been put to test by Subhash Chandra's ICL. But for the the BCCI's money power and the muscle power IPL would not be existing today. I am sure a Subhash Chandra would have done a far far superior job than a Lalit Kumar Modi!!

  • on April 15, 2010, 1:42 GMT

    Leave it to the Malayalis to start some drama. The IPL has been great without any Kochi franchise. Leave Lalit Modi alone to handle this great business and let us enjoy the remainder of this season. Who will be the "icon" player for Kochi....Sreesanth? God help them.

  • jaypekrish on April 14, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    Well, praising for Modi is getting a bit too much.We have to admit that Indian Cricket league was the first tournament of this sort and I think it is unfair to say no one can stage a tournament such as IPL. I think this idea is from Kapildev.

  • lakx on April 14, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    Problem in Indian League and already hyenas and vultures swirling around with irrelevant comments. It is like the author says "300 students from the best school in town were killed and it will affect thousands in the town" and we have comments like "this school is nowhere the best school like you are misleading people blah blah blah" and "This school affecting thousands of lives indirectly? i did not get that. Is it the same assumption as all billion people in India watch and pray for cricket matches?Its another thing that some 33% are below poverty line..its always one billion dreams..so did the author mean a billion lives??" IRRELAVANT and WRONG. You do not have to own a TV to watch a match, poor people watch in places where they have TV like their boss's house, community centers, schools, outside showrooms etc. India's population is 1.18 billion and with millions of Bangladeshis etc in India, billion is possible. 33% is an assumption not based on statistics.

  • Rockfort on April 14, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    Tharoor has made a valid point. Why Modi chose to make the shareholding public? Did he do it for all the franchises? It was but expected that Modi would get arrogant and try to have his way. That is how most of the guys fall in a corrupt system. I would not mind seeing Modi go.

  • cric-kaka on April 14, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    IPL has to become more transparent so no illigle and underworld money passes thru it. Bollywood had underworld money and influence for a long time and even now it suffers from it. We may ignore it as it may not impact the general public but it brings illegal and unwanted element into the enterprise and in turn ruins it.

    25% ownership to buy the political influence is clearly a bribe. Tharoor and company should not politicize this as it wil bite them back once more the details are out. Same goes for Lalit Modi. He should also be careful in revealing information and making accusations.

  • bigwonder on April 14, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    G_Arun forgets the fact that this is democracy and things have to be debated. Since he thinks this is a good opportunity to get rid of Modi, then why stop there, lets start with Tharoor who is sticking his nose in wrong places. Also lets get rid of Manohar and Srinivasan since they are somehow responsible for deferring the auction and relaxing the Financial requirements. I already smell fishy - It seems like someone was very interested in giving Kochi an IPL Team. Sometime we need the obvious to clear our mind of perceived conceptions. I think the problems will continue as long as we stand divided (in the name of state/city, language, religion, etc). No wonder the British were able to use divide and conquer to rule for so long. Now, its greedy politicians and businesses to take advantage of us. Keep up the good work INDIA.

  • Leeeeee on April 14, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    Are u kidding??? This guy modi is an idea snatcher. If not kapil and his team non of this would have happened. BCCI just used their influence for their own benefit!!!! I really can't understand why these assciations arnt treated like companies! Why is Modi a part of both ipl and BCCI? There should exercise proper governance. Has this bloke ever played cricket?

  • Alexk400 on April 14, 2010, 20:31 GMT

    Sahshi tharoor is a monkey in chinese astrology. It means the guys with no skill but manipulate others and steal things from others. I am 100% sure Modi is telling the truth and sashi tharoor try to make money through proxy and got red handed.

    He will be force to resign from his post in few days. That is the only way. No other way.

    These politicians are making mess of the IPL. Sashank manohar also beneficiary of tharoor corruptness. Otherwise he would not attack MODI.

    Modi is the DA Man.

    All these corrupt politicians are trying to get into IPL and make a mess and make money.

    Time for people to support the MODI the genius.

  • on April 14, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    All one can say is, too much power in the hands of just one man..doesn't augur well for cricket.

  • NB2737 on April 14, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    The view that Jayaditya has presented reflects the cacophony of this situation when this should be a non-issue. What is the relevance of the shareholders to IPL beyond the fact that they are good for the money, and are not undesirable. In the world of business revealing shareholder information is not at all common, unless there is a public stake - and that is not the case here. Confidentiality must be respected - and even if Modi has the right to know, he does not have the right to reveal this. All that this informs is how murky the IPL system has become. IF the IPL's ambition is to compete with the NBA's and Premier Leagues, let it start by living by guidelines and processes - and not through a personality.

  • Sportz_Freak on April 14, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Lol, he changed "richest sports league" to "fastest growing sports league". Am sure it falls well behind EPL, NFL and MLB, Nascar and probably La Liga in terms of riches.

  • SatyajitM on April 14, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    I won't be unhappy if Modi is punished for 'make your own rules as you go along'. I don't think Indian cricket or even the IPL is dependent on him any more. Yes, he did play a role in creating the IPL. He doesn't even own it. You cann't do whatever you want to do even if you own a company. If he is gone for good, we will remember him like Azhar, who had contributions to Indian cricket; but when he was gone tainted by match fixing charges, people were not unhappy.

  • on April 14, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    The article just repeats what has been obvious to anyone but the very naive. But in a country known for being managed by vested interests, nothing better can be expected. You must be kidding if you think anything good will come out of this latest episode of the 'tv serial' that BCCI affairs are. Too much of money, power and influence is at stake for all those vested interests that have run BCCI and its offspring IPL. Not just the Shashank Manohar coterie but even the previous regimes were as open as the Kremlin. IPL was an idea that was 'stolen' from the now extinct ICL. All the marketing wizardry that Modi had shown to make IPL a commercial envy for other cricket boards has lost its sheen and mystery. The only real loss wil be for those young kids from India who must have been dreaming to make it thru the IPL after the IT bust and the economic slowdown. For the rest (esp. in the realm of BCCI), the more things change, the more they will remain the same. That is the real tragedy.

  • on April 14, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    IPL affecting millions of lives indirectly? i did not get that. Is it the same assumption as all billion people in india watch and pray for cricket matches?Its another thing that some 33% are below poverty line..its always one billion dreams..so did the author mean a billion lives??

  • Anon_gish on April 14, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    A sad fact about India as Arun has mentioned is that people have very short memories and a genetic tolerance to any scam/scandal. The fans stood by the game during the match fixing era while the BCCI bungled its way through the investigations. To this day, do we have a clear picture of how exactly the players involved fixed the matches? The BCCI made some mandatory noises and hoped that the fans would forget the whole incident in a while and we did. Impropriety has existed in the running of the game for a long time. Remember that the first things that the newly BCCI board did was the vendetta game against Dalmiya who they didnt like too much. The IPL has brought out the worst in Indian cricket, both in terms of the blatant & horrifying commercialism in the way it is being conducted and the obscene amounts of money our game is being sold for. But BCCI has successfully argued in court that it is a private organization, so none of us can really do anything except maybe stop watching.

  • on April 14, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    IPL affecting millions of lives indirectly? i did not get that. Is it the same assumption as all billion people in india watch and pray for cricket matches?Its another thing that some 33% are below poverty line..its always one billion dreams..so did the author mean a billion lives??

  • G_Arun on April 14, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Why is it that blatantly obvious things are debated so much in our country ? Why is that tainted and immature people like Modi get to run something so important ? Why is it that the most important body in the country after the finance ministry is run by a bunch of good for nothing politicos ? Anyway lets forget the philosophy and regardless of the fact that everyone seems to be playing some game ( not sport ) or the other , we should use this opportunity to get rid of Modi . Oh , another thing , why are only cricketers given life bans -its time we gave the administrators a taste of this too ?

  • on April 14, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    What defies all logic is why Modi is raising the ownership issue post awarding the franchise.

    As the Chairman of the IPL was it not his basic fiduciary duty to satisfy himself as Chairman and the Board (of IPL) and BCCI before awarding the franchise.

  • Rake1 on April 14, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Making public the real owners of franchises makes sense. Don't want a Alan Stanford in IPL.

  • AJ_1979 on April 14, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Richest sports league is the world? I dont know what the author was smoking.

  • AR_IN on April 14, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    The Article has hit the nail on the head. This Article has rightly dwelled the serious situtation of this issue. There should be total transparency in all the affairs. When the FDI to the country is subject to thro scrutiny, Why not the IPL investments, Share holder Identity & Share holding pattern. Please set the house in order,BCCI Please wake up and come clean. Ensure Cricket is above all dirty affairs. Cricket world is already shaken by betting and other scandals. Can BCCI set an example and come clean. There should not be any delay.

  • Notout_Naveen on April 14, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    With Modi taking many decisions on his own this was bound to happen! it was just matter of time.Its good that this mess happened now, there will be more transperency henceforth.

  • IndiaGoats on April 14, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    I don't what the auction/contract says. But disclosing the shareholders of just one franchise and that too seemingly to spite the franchise seems like Modi has crossed all limits. If the contract doesn't disallow revealing this information, all franchises' details should be published. If not, Modi should be stripped of all powers and sued to bankruptcy.

    As for Tharoor, agree with the author, he should be investigated by the political system. If indeed the charges against him are true, I am sure the voting public will punish him in due course as well.

  • on April 14, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    Please dont indulge in unnecessary hyperbole,The value of the NFL system alone is 32 billion dollars. IPL is nowhere the richest sports league like you are misleading people, especially being executive editor of Cricinfo.You should do some fact checking.

  • Dark_horizon on April 14, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Its high time that IPL shows some transparency. If it dreams to be of the level of EPL or NBA, it needs some credibility in the process.

  • Ilin on April 14, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    when govt. is not hiding its actions and anybody could get informed by RTI then bcci too, should take some initiatives in this field. afterall ita Indian's cricet, n bcci belongs to India. Indian people should well informed about whats goin on in indian cricket.

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  • Ilin on April 14, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    when govt. is not hiding its actions and anybody could get informed by RTI then bcci too, should take some initiatives in this field. afterall ita Indian's cricet, n bcci belongs to India. Indian people should well informed about whats goin on in indian cricket.

  • Dark_horizon on April 14, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Its high time that IPL shows some transparency. If it dreams to be of the level of EPL or NBA, it needs some credibility in the process.

  • on April 14, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    Please dont indulge in unnecessary hyperbole,The value of the NFL system alone is 32 billion dollars. IPL is nowhere the richest sports league like you are misleading people, especially being executive editor of Cricinfo.You should do some fact checking.

  • IndiaGoats on April 14, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    I don't what the auction/contract says. But disclosing the shareholders of just one franchise and that too seemingly to spite the franchise seems like Modi has crossed all limits. If the contract doesn't disallow revealing this information, all franchises' details should be published. If not, Modi should be stripped of all powers and sued to bankruptcy.

    As for Tharoor, agree with the author, he should be investigated by the political system. If indeed the charges against him are true, I am sure the voting public will punish him in due course as well.

  • Notout_Naveen on April 14, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    With Modi taking many decisions on his own this was bound to happen! it was just matter of time.Its good that this mess happened now, there will be more transperency henceforth.

  • AR_IN on April 14, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    The Article has hit the nail on the head. This Article has rightly dwelled the serious situtation of this issue. There should be total transparency in all the affairs. When the FDI to the country is subject to thro scrutiny, Why not the IPL investments, Share holder Identity & Share holding pattern. Please set the house in order,BCCI Please wake up and come clean. Ensure Cricket is above all dirty affairs. Cricket world is already shaken by betting and other scandals. Can BCCI set an example and come clean. There should not be any delay.

  • AJ_1979 on April 14, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Richest sports league is the world? I dont know what the author was smoking.

  • Rake1 on April 14, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    Making public the real owners of franchises makes sense. Don't want a Alan Stanford in IPL.

  • on April 14, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    What defies all logic is why Modi is raising the ownership issue post awarding the franchise.

    As the Chairman of the IPL was it not his basic fiduciary duty to satisfy himself as Chairman and the Board (of IPL) and BCCI before awarding the franchise.

  • G_Arun on April 14, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Why is it that blatantly obvious things are debated so much in our country ? Why is that tainted and immature people like Modi get to run something so important ? Why is it that the most important body in the country after the finance ministry is run by a bunch of good for nothing politicos ? Anyway lets forget the philosophy and regardless of the fact that everyone seems to be playing some game ( not sport ) or the other , we should use this opportunity to get rid of Modi . Oh , another thing , why are only cricketers given life bans -its time we gave the administrators a taste of this too ?