In a move reminiscent of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gesture of parading the entire team before the media in England during the Twenty20 to dispel stories of a rift between Virender Sehwag and himself, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar made a rare public statement backing IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.
“Somebody with a fertile brain came up with an idea that Mr Lalit Modi has been removed as IPL chairman and a conspiracy has been hatched by myself and the BCCI secretary, the treasurer and Mr Farooq Abdullah. Mr Lalit Modi is doing an excellent job as IPL chairman-cum-commissioner. He is appointed by the general body till 2012, and, there is no reason and no power or authority to remove Mr Modi,” Manohar said here on Thursday.
As reported in HT, there has been no move to remove Modi as commissioner but rather to bring the president and the secretary into the equation as far as running the IPL is concerned. At the press conference after the IPL governing council's meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, Manohar merely said what was already known — that Modi's appointment was till 2012 and that there was no statute to overturn this. If a change has to be made, a resolution would have to be passed at an AGM with a two-third's majority, and as of now, it hasn't been mooted.
It was also announced that the third edition of the Indian Premier League would start in Hyderabad on March 12, 2010 and Mumbai's DY Patil stadium would host the final and the third place play off. The two semi-finals would be held in Bangalore.
The player auction has been scheduled for January 19 and the upper limit will be $7,50,000 (Rs 3.52 crore approx). Among other key decisions, Modi said two new franchisees would be added in 2011, the minimum bidding price for a team being $ 225 million (Rs 105 crore approximately). The governing council, Modi said, has also removed the earlier restriction of having only two Australian players in a team.
On the fate of the Pakistan cricketers, Modi said: “The trading window began and the four of them who got their visas could not participate. The auction window is still open and there are requests for as many as 12 Pakistani players who will be put into the auction process.”
The BCCI working committee will meet in Delhi on Friday and the main item on the agenda will be the proposal to convert SA's forthcoming five-ODI series into one that comprised two Tests and three ODIs.