Modi opposed IPL in Dubai | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Modi opposed IPL in Dubai

Embattled IPL commissioner Lalit Modi turned down a possibly lucrative plan spearheaded by Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra to a set up a separate cricket league in the Gulf saying the Indian board would not be party to what he called "unorganised cricket." Gaurav Choudhury reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 03, 2010 01:13 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

Embattled IPL commissioner Lalit Modi turned down a possibly lucrative plan spearheaded by Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra to a set up a separate cricket league in the Gulf saying the Indian board would not be party to what he called “unorganised cricket.”

The London-based husband of actor Shilpa Shetty and Modi exchanged extensive correspondence in April on the issue. Modi’s stance seems to fly in the face of earlier reports suggesting he had plotted to set up a breakaway league in England.

The mails between Modi and Kundra, the details of which are available with HT, talks of a T-20 league by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), where a consortium from Pakistan had offered to underwrite the event for 10 years paying ECB $10 million (Rs 4.6 crore) per annum.

“I have just had initial meetings with Sheikh Nayan (sports and education minister of UAE), Amitabh Bachchan, Amar Singh and Sanjay Dutt,” Kundra wrote to Modi on April 8.

“If we do don’t get the IPL or BCCI associated in some way with the Middle East league, the Pakistanis will come and make a mess of it with no financial gain to any of us and will certainly add to the dilution of our brand.”

Modi, however, told Kundra, in no uncertain terms, to “stay out” of such ventures and that an IPL franchisee owner going out and holding discussions for a separate league could amount to breach of contract.

“BCCI and IPL know how to take care of themselves. Whether Pakistan or ECB, we all are very well tuned to this,” Modi said.