When Modi almost scuttled BCCI-ECB relations

The BCCI disciplinary committee said in its report that Modi was involved in plans of forming a rebel T20 league in England.

Mumbai: The relationship between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Cricket South Africa is in limbo over the proposed tour to the rainbow nation.

But, there was a time when ties between the BCCI and English Cricket Board (ECB) almost came to a standstill. And the man who was responsible for it was Lalit Modi.

That is what the disciplinary committee, which probed the alleged irregularities by Modi, feels.

The committee comprising Arun Jaitley, Chirayu Amin and Jyotiraditya Scindia said in its report that the former IPL chairman was involved in plans of forming a rebel T20 league in England, without the knowledge of the ECB and BCCI, on the lines of the successful Indian league.

Clarke’s complaint

The charge was filed on the basis of the complaint by ECB chairman Giles Clarke. The proposed plan was called ‘Project Victoria’ and involved sports management company IMG, with Modi targeting counties, which were facing financial problems. A series of e-mails were exchanged and meetings took place from 2009-11, the committee’s report, a copy of which is with HT, revealed.

As per the plan, the franchise-based T20 tournament would have consisted of eight teams along with the involvement of Scotland over a period of 45 days.

Around 59 matches were scheduled, the timing mainly catering to the television audience in India, apart from a separate media deal and other agreements largely inspired by the Indian league.

Modi, the report said, had held a meeting in 2009 “with an investment banker and the IMG for discussing ways and means to acquire control over English counties and promote a rebel league”. The counties targeted were Kent, Essex, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

Modi, who deposed in front of the committee through his legal counsel, denied the allegations of floating a rebel league. Instead, he admitted to have met county representatives for an English Premier League under the aegis of the ECB.

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