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Hush, hush in heaven

india Updated: Apr 16, 2010 23:56 IST
Highlight Story

While the hill town of Dharamsala was bracing itself for frenetic activity, with the first Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the venue being staged on Friday, the storm that hit was of an entirely different nature.

The sleepy tourist venue suddenly became the centre of the Lalit Modi-Shashi Tharoor feud that has engulfed the third edition of the tournament.

The arrival of BCCI bigwigs Shashank Manohar, N Srinivasan, Rajiv Shukla, and, of course, Modi himself, set tongues wagging about what drama was to unfold. From the time Modi set foot in Dharamsala's modest airport, flanked by his muscular bodyguards, the stampede began.

"There's no difference of opinion within the BCCI," said Modi, his usual confident self.

"Whatever controversy has been raised by the other party (Kochi team) will be dealt with appropriately."

Modi's claims of a united BCCI took a bit of a hit, though, as he proceeded to his accomodation, a private guesthouse called "White Heaven" even as the rest of the BCCI officials were put up by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association in their own digs, "The Pavilion." While this could be brushed off as a coincidence, the fact that several BCCI officials were in "unofficial consultations" could not be explained away.

"There is no meeting scheduled here. All these officials are here as guests of the HPCA and accepted our invitation many weeks ago, before any controversy happened," said Anurag Thakur.

"They were going to come here as this is the first IPL match at this venue."

While all officials present insisted that there was nothing official on the agenda, a source told the Hindustan Times that the controversy was being discussed.

"You can't expect all these senior officials, some of them IPL governing council members, to just discuss the weather. What is likely is that the groundwork for the April 24 meeting will be done here."

While no-one would elaborate on exactly what the groundwork entailed, Modi continued to put up a brave face.

"We are all just here to watch the match and see how to take the IPL forward."

Just how much of a role Modi will have in taking things forward remains to be seen.