Monday, November 29, 1999

Modi sends BCCI big fat denial

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Mumbai, May 15 -- On Saturday, 20 days after being suspended from all the posts he held in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), including that of the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Lalit Modi finally submitted his reply to the showcause notice issued to him by the Board. Modi's reply to the 35-page notice - submitted by his counsel Mehmood Abdi to BCCI chief administrative officer Prof Ratnakar Shetty - was 160 pages and supplemented by "almost 8,500 to 9,000 supporting documents", according to Abdi. "We have submitted all clarifications. Nothing is left from our side, except (a demand) that the showcause notice must be dropped immediately. All the allegations have been sufficiently and fully addressed," said Abdi. Though Abdi refused to divulge details, Hindustan Times learnt that Modi has "denied all the five charges" detailed in the chargesheet. The five charges were: irregularities in the initial bids of Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, irregularities in the broadcasting deal with Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd, bid rigging with the two new franchises, irregularities in awarding the internet rights for IPL and Modi's "offensive" behavioural pattern. While Abdi was presenting the documents, Modi was in London, in a meeting with the International Management Group (IMG) brass ahead of their meeting with BCCI bigwigs in Mumbai on Monday. IMG has been closely involved with Modi and the IPL right from its conceptualisation and the BCCI is reportedly very unhappy with their role in the IPL controversy. BCCI president Shashank Manohar and secretary N Srinivasan are set to discuss irregularities in the IPL with IMG officials at the BCCI headquarters on Monday. Since Manohar and Srinivasan are also slated to meet the CEO of the Kochi franchise, PT Keshav the following day, the duo is expected to scan the voluminous reply over these two days. According to sources, going by the "mischief that the BCCI has noticed so far in running of the IPL", Manohar and Srinivasan will in all likelihood refer the matter to the BCCI's Disciplinary Committee, consisting Manohar himself, vice-president Arun Jaitley and Chirayu Amin, also interim IP president, for a detailed inquiry.

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