Though BCCI president Shashank Manohar strongly denied it, Sunday’s purge appeared to be yet another effort to totally exorcise the ghost of former chairman Lalit Modi from the IPL.
Both the teams whose franchises have been terminated have covert links with Modi, and the charge of Modi having proxy stakes in both has been made but never proved.
Modi’s brother-in-law — his wife Minal’s sister’s husband — Suresh Chellaram, holds the largest stake in Rajasthan Royals.
So too, Modi’s stepson-in-law Gaurav Burman has a stake in Kings XI, Punjab.
Not surprisingly Modi has taken the decision badly, tweeting all through Sunday on how ill advised it was. “Instead of concentrating on building the IPL, they have chosen a path of vengeance and in that, they will only hurt the game,” Modi said. “BCCI’s total disregard for franchisees and their stakeholders only goes to show that BCCI has lost the ability to administer sensibly.”
“We never considered that,” said Manohar about Modi’s alleged involvement with the two teams. “The decision was purely based on the legal opinion we received and on the basis of the breaches committed by these twofranchisees.”