Online, IPL is Lalit Modi’s own domain | india | Hindustan Times
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Online, IPL is Lalit Modi’s own domain

On Friday, when the BCCI brass met for an unofficial strategy session in Dharamsala to discuss Lalit Modi’s future as head of the IPL, they were probably unaware of how absolute the IPL chairman’s control over the IPL and information related to it has been. Nagendar Sharma reports. See special

india Updated: Apr 18, 2010 01:26 IST
Nagendar Sharma

On Friday, when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) brass met for an unofficial strategy session in Dharamsala to discuss Lalit Modi’s future as head of the Indian Premier League, they were probably unaware of how absolute the IPL chairman’s control over the IPL and information related to it has been.

<b1>The official websites of both the IPL and its elite international version — the Champions League T20 — have either “Lalit” or “Lalit Modi” registered as the administrative and even technical contacts. In both cases, there is no mention of either the BCCI or the IPL.

In every case, the email contact is jcherian-mwc@modi.com. Modi.com is owned by Modi Enterprises, the company run by Lalit Modi’s industrialist family. The contact address is 3rd floor, Nirlon House, Dr A B Road, Worli.

Websites that could potentially be used by the BCCI, like bcciratings.com and BCCI TV (championsleague2020.in), are also registered in the same fashion.

When HT called the phone number 9820135264 and asked the man who answered if he was a Mr Cherian, he said “yes”. When asked if he worked for the IPL, he said “no comments”.

Incidentally, the iplt20.com website is registered for sale. What this means is unclear. The franchise model on which the IPL is based doesn’t subscribe to a system where the league commissioner has his name down on official sites.

The National Football League website (nfl.com) is registered to NFL Enterprises LLC.

The NBA website (nba.com) is registered to NBA Media Ventures LLC with the National Basketball Association IT department as the administrative and technical contacts and the English Premier League website (premierleague.com) is registered to FA Premier League in London.

A top BCCI official refused to officially comment on the matter. Board sources, however, indicated that the IPL governing council meeting to decide what happens next will be held only after the IPL final.

"There is no point in disrupting the IPL,” said a source, “we'll do what needs to be done when we’re done with the matches.” And yes, they are extremely unhappy with Modi. He has every right to be very worried.

His friend-turned foe, senior IAS officer and secretary of the Rajasthan Cricket Assocation took a potshot at Modi on micro-blogging site Twitter.

“The IPL website, iplt20.com has a market worth of crores. Any guesses as to the registered owner. Hint : It is not BCCI,” he posted.

Modi could not be reached for his response on the issue. He did not reply to texts or phone calls made to him repeatedly.