Less than 12 hours after BCCI president Shashank Manohar released a statement saying he’d “suspended Lalit Modi from participating in affairs of the Board, IPL, Working Committee and any other committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India”, the IPL’s Governing Council named Baroda industrialist Chirayu Amin, CMD of a Rs 1,200-crore pharma concern, Alembic, “interim chairman”.
“It made sense to make him interim head,” said a BCCI official. “He is non-controversial, completely straight and has corporate experience. He could have bought a team if he so wished but more importantly, it made sense to have someone with A-grade finance and marketing experience handle IPL.”
Amin incidentally, is also BCCI vice-president and, with fellow vice-president Arun Jaitley and Manohar, part of the three-member disciplinary committee that could look into charges against Modi.
Modi has meanwhile been issued a showcause notice and asked to respond to charges leveled against him within 15 days.
Pertinently, and many would say unfairly, no other person has been named in the ‘chargesheet’. Asked if there had been too much power vested in one man, Manohar replied, “Unfortunately, I have to say yes for that.” On the face of it, this seems like the BCCI has relieved the IPL Governing Council and all its officials of any misconduct or impropriety and left Modi to take the rap.
While Modi was quiet through Monday, he was back on Twitter by evening. “I am still chairman of IPL, just suspended. Wait, we have just begun,” he tweeted. He also added that he had got some “much needed rest” during the day, spending it at a spa.
Reports indicated that he had been “consulting lawyers” about what he would do next and “preparing a response to the charges” but there was no confirmation. BCCI sources however indicated that they were well aware that
So can Modi come back if he gives a satisfactory reply to the BCCI? Technically yes, but in practice, it seems unlikely. It’s been too public and bitter a battle. “He has 15 days but it’s going to be difficult for Lalit to defend himself on all the charges,” said another official.