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Behind The Scenes: IPL 4

October 28, 2010

For three years, Lalit Modi worked hard to make sure the IPL rocked your pants off for about two months. With him suspended, the BCCI is working hard to ensure the entertainment from that quarter keeps coming even during the rest of the season.

First they threw out Lalit Modi, he had to know that was coming sometime or the other. The IPL Governing Council was rejigged, retaining the most blatant offender, N Srinivasan, Secretary and President-to-be of the BCCI and owner of the Chennai franchise. The Rajasthan and Punjab franchises which Modi held proxy stakes in were thrown out of the IPL for legal/procedural transgressions. Did the franchises simply refuse to provide any further documents to the BCCI on account of their inability to do so or their will? Were they perhaps given instructions or recommendations to restructure that could have solved their problems? What was their response to that? We don’t know the answers to that, all we know is that the BCCI doesn’t believe in things being too big to fail. That’s the spirit that saw them chop down the ICL, hack by hack. Ok, that was mostly the work of Lalit Modi, Pot, who incidentally did a great job of calling the BCCI, Kettle, black, on twitter following the announcements that RR and KXIP were sacked.

Never mind the fact that despite being some of the cheaper franchises, what Punjab and Rajasthan have already shelled out substantial amounts for fees, infrastructure, taxes and whatnot. The plan to take the Royals name across the English, South African and West Indian domestic T20 tournaments will clearly die a quiet death now. And corny as it may sound, these teams have supporters (why would anyone support KXIP?), people who’ve been turned away from teams they were passionate about to various degrees. It sucks to have your whole team just terminated like that, leaving you like a refugee of sorts. It sucks to know your team can be simply ejected like that because a fresh start with fresh auctions is more profitable for the BCCI than working with the said parties and sorting the issue out.

Another new franchise doesn’t even need the BCCI to make sure it doesn’t feature in IPL 4. Infighting among the members of the Kochi consortium reached a point where the two factions spoke to Shashank Manohar separately, each claiming to be the official contact point for the franchise. I thought the BCCI was being kind giving them a 30 day deadline to prove that all disputes have been resolved and a joint venture formed after they already missed their October 20 deadline to do the same. But as it turns out, the board has already decided that IPL 4 will feature 8 teams with or without the Kochi franchise. That huge player auction cannot wait any longer now, especially not for infighting fools when there’s so much money to be made.

I’m not even getting into what Lalit Modi is upto now, how the BCCI and the ED are after him with the board even having patched up with his old nemesis Jagmohan Dalmiya. Or the threatening messages somehow sent from N Srinivasan’s cellphone to a franchise owner who voiced concern over the board’s trivial, regardless, treatment of the role of the franchises in the IPL.

One thing for sure is that nothing’s close to ended. Whatever the next move is, whether it’s Rajasthan or Punjab or Kochi or Modi, the Empire will strike back.


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