The tug of war between one of the two newcomers on the Indian Premier League (IPL) block, the Kochi franchise, and IPL chairman Lalit Modi took an uglier turn on Monday.
The franchise, Rendezvous, threatened to take Modi to court for announcing the identities of each member of their consortium and the percentage stake they held, on Twitter.
“There was no need to announce it in a public forum,” a franchise source told HT. “If we are asked to furnish all minute details, why not do the same with all the other franchises and announce that too? Let us also know all the details about stakeholders in all other teams.” The source, however, did not confirm if a legal notice would be sent to Modi.
It is also reliably learnt that the Board for Control of Cricket in India brass was “terribly upset” with Modi for going public with the details and suggested he might have done so because he “doesn’t like the Kochi franchise”. A BCCI official indicated the matter had been raised “at the highest level”.
At the heart of the controversy is Modi’s Twitter revelation that the Kochi franchise’s stakeholders include Sunanda Pushkar, a close personal friend of Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of State for External Affairs.
Media reports have suggested that Tharoor, who is currently sorting out divorce formalities with his wife Christa Giles, intends to marry Sunanda. He had earlier denied he owned any stake in the team, suggesting that he merely played the role of facilitator in bringing different groups to the table to form the consortium ahead of the bid for new teams.
The little-known Rendezvous Sports World group became owners of the Kochi franchise last month, picking up the team for $333.33m (Rs 1533 cr approx).