It seems it was an internal feud between Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi and the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), which he no longer heads, which cost Jaipur a chance to hold IPL matches.
On Tuesday, the IPL had said that while it had initially scheduled matches for Jaipur, it had no choice but to drop it from the venues list after the state government expressed its inability to provide security — because the matches were clashing with the elections.
That, however, might not be the whole truth.
On March 8, the principal secretary, home department, Rajasthan, had written a letter to the Rajasthan Royals franchisee, saying the government was willing to hold matches in the state as long as they were not between May 4 and May 10.
HT has a copy of the letter.
The IPL’s apparent refusal to work around the election dates— as it has done in other states — has incensed the franchisee owners and the RCA and given rise to a number of conspiracy theories behind Jaipur’s blackout.
“Modi is trying to cheat us and acting with a feeling of vengeance after losing the RCA elections,” Rajasthan home minister Shanti Dhaliwal said.
Modi, however, stuck to the IPL’s stance. “I went back with a new schedule, with five matches in Jaipur, but the government once again said it wanted paramilitary forces to provide security, why would I want to keep Jaipur out?” Modi told HT. “What can I do if a consensus cannot be reached?”
According to the RCA, however, the IPL never got in touch with either the state government or the Rajasthan Royals officially.
The RCA says the March 8 letter exposes Modi’s ‘ulterior motive’ in keeping Jaipur out of the list of IPL venues.
The Rajasthan government and the RCA are angry at Modi’s claims that the government denied the IPL permission to host matches in Jaipur.
“The IPL has worked and reworked its schedule so many times, but they don’t seem to have time for Jaipur,” an RCA member said.
“And then Modi has the audacity to blame the government for not providing security. He is getting own back.” Asked about the allegations, Modi said, “Jaipur is not hosting any matches as of now simply because the government there and the home ministry can’t come to a consensus about central paramilitary forces. That is not my fault, is it?”