In a major revamp of the IPL and the BCCI, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar was today dropped from the Twenty20 League's trimmed Governing Council, while the door was effectively shut on the suspended Lalit Modi without a formal expulsion.
The decision to drop Gavaskar from the IPL Governing Council was taken by the Cricket Board in its 81st Annual General Meeting (AGM) here, which also appointed interim chairman Chirayu Amin as the full-time chief of the Twenty20 league.
The BCCI did not give any reason for dropping Gavaskar from the council but there is speculation that it could be a result of the Board's decision to not pay the cricketers, who were earlier getting Rs one crore a year, in the panel.
Asked about reports that Gavaskar had asked for Rs five crore to sit on the panel, Board chief Shashank Manohar said, "You have to ask Mr Gavaskar about it".
Gavaskar refused to comment on the development merely stating that, "I have no idea about the AGM. I just saw something on TV, that's it."
Among other notable decisions taken at the AGM, the BCCI issued show-cause notices to three IPL franchises - Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Kochi - for irregularities in their ownership patterns and dropped all charges of misappropriation of funds in the PILCOM accounts of the 1996 World Cup against former Board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.
"The IPL Governing Council constitution was changed today at the AGM. The period of the Governing Council, which is a sub-committee, of the Board has been reduced to one year from five years," BCCI president Shashank Manohar told reporters at a press conference after the AGM.
"It will have five members and two cricketers will be part of the committee. Earlier, cricketers used to be paid Rs one crore but BCCI decided no payment will be made from now onwards," he said.
"Modi is not part of the BCCI any more. Now he cannot say that he is a suspended IPL Chairman," added Manohar.
Manohar alleged that the wrongdoings of Modi, facing the Board's disciplinary panel hearing, stood exposed further five days ago vis-a-vis the deal he made with a company called "Visual Impact" for providing security vans during IPL-3.
"The deal was for Rs 5 crore for the first year and Rs 6 crore from next year. Five days ago we got a letter (from another company) saying they had hired the security trucks for Rs 1.5 crore and got payment of Rs 70 lakh only and asked for the remaining Rs 80 lakh," the BCCI chief said.
"Yesterday when the Visual Impact guy came to us he was asked about it and he gave it in writing that he will refund Rs 3.5 crore to the Board," Manohar said.
Modi has been replaced in the vice-President's post by another central zone representative Rajiv Shukla and Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi reacted angrily to the decision.
"It further establishes our case of malice and personal prejudice against Modi. It shows that the entire BCCI is suffering from Modi-phobia. They are shutting all doors on his return," Abdi told reporters.
"First they suspended him, then they removed him from the vice-President's post and have now reduced the tenure of the governing council," Abdi added.
Abdi said given the Board's hurry to keep Modi out, the Board might even dissolve the current Governing Council if the suspended administrator tried to return.
"If they sniff even a little chance of Modi's return, they may even dissolve the council. The decisions taken today are with prospective effect and not retrospective effect," he said.
Manohar said another IPL sponsor - Swiss makers Bandelier - has told the Board they have suffered huge losses as only 35 branded watches could be sold during the 2010 edition, out of which 24 were taken by Modi without any payment made to the 132-year-old company.
The Swiss watch major was appointed the official watch licensee for the IPL on January 8 with the price range fixed between Rs 45,000 and Rs 55,000.
"The house was appraised of several irregularities that had been discovered during the audit of IPL-3 accounts and appropriate action would be taken to protect the interest of the Board," according to Board secretary N Srinivasan, who was elevated to the president-elect's post.
The Board's members also unanimously decided that a complaint must be lodged with the police in the matters of sale of tickets by Ticket Genie and contract with Visual Impact for security vans, among others.
"Henceforth, all IPL contracts would be signed on behalf of the Board by the honorary Secretary only," Manohar said.
Apart from Amin, the Board retained Ravi Shastri in the reconstituted Governing Council, which also has two new members in Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur and former national selector Ranjeeb Biswal.
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was the third cricketer in the dissolved panel and Manohar said efforts were on to contact him about taking up the job in an honorary capacity. Shastri had already agreed to the condition.
Arun Jaitley, Shukla and Ajay Shirke are the other members, while BCCI said the eighth member of the Council will be selected by its chief Manohar.
"The President has been authorized by the house to nominate one cricketer of repute," BCCI said in a statement.
The Board's decision to withdraw the case against Dalmiya was based on the advise from two legal luminaries - retired Supreme Court judge M K Mukherjee and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee.
"They opined the Board had little chance to succeed (in the civil suit against Dalmiya). It was felt it was unnecessary to continue to spend money to fight the case.
"As per the Board's constitution, expulsion can be revoked after getting an application from that person and Mr Dalmiya gave an application to revoke his expulsion. We have no grudges against individuals and we don't fight for egos," Manohar said.
Dalmiya, the 70-year-old former ICC President, had been a pariah in Indian cricket administration for four years after he was accused of embezzling the 1996 World Cup funds in a lawsuit filed in the Bombay High Court in 2006.
The veteran administrator currently heads the Cricket Association of Bengal.
Dalmiya said he felt vindicated by the decision of the Cricket Board.
"I have all along been committed to the fair administration of the game of cricket. I would like to thank the BCCI and its members for acting fairly," he said.
Among other expected decisions at the AGM, current office bearers were elected unopposed to their respective positions.
Besides Srinivasan and Manohar, treasurer M P Pandove and joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale have also completed two years in their posts and were re-elected for a third term.
Arun Jaitley (north), N Shivlal Yadav (south) and Arindam Ganguly (east) also managed to retain their seats while Rajiv Shukla replaced Lalit Modi from central zone and Amin gave way to Niranjan Shah from west after completing his term.
The Board also retained its national selection committee headed by Kris Srikkanth.
During the AGM, the BCCI also constituted various sub-committees for the year 2010-11.
The Board appointed Anil Kumble as the chairman of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. The former India leg-spinner replaced Shastri.
BCCI also appointed a Cricket Development Committee to be headed by former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar. Other members of the panel include Arshad Ayub, Chetan Chauhan, Pranob Roy and Prashant Vaidya.
Among other decisions, Jyotiraditya Scindia was made the chairman of the Finance Committee. Farooq Abdullah will head the Marketing Committee, while N Venkat Sundaram was handed charge of the Ground and Pitches Committee.
It was also decided that Hyderabad will host the second Test against New Zealand after Kanpur, the original venue and Kolkata refused to take the responsibility.
The BCCI also alloted India's second and third ODIs against New Zealand to Jaipur and Baroda after Mohali expressed its inability.
The revised itinerary is:
Oct 31: New Zealand team arrives.
Nov 4-8: 1st Test at Ahmedabad
Nov 12-16: 2nd Test at Hyderabad
Nov 20-24: 3rd Test at Nagpur
Nov 28: 1st ODI at Guwahati
Dec 1: 2nd ODI at Jaipur
Dec 4: 3rd ODI at Vadodara
Dec 7: 4th ODI at Bangalore
BCCI Shake Up: Dalmiya Back; Modi, Gavaskar Out
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