ICB launches IPL inquiry

2010-07-03 17:15

Mumbai - India's cricket board (ICB) has appointed a new committee to carry out a formal investigation into charges against suspended Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, who faces allegations of financial irregularities, on Saturday.

Meanwhile, BCCI president Shashank Manohar will investigate all current and past IPL contracts and, if necessary, initiate criminal action.

Manohar said the board named federal lawmaker Jyotiraditya Scindia to the three-member inquiry committee investigating the charges against Modi. Scindia, who replaced Manohar on the committee, joins BCCI vice presidents Chirayu Amin and Arun Jaitley.

Modi had earlier asked for Manohar and BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan to be excluded from the committee, alleging bias.

Manohar said Modi "will now be asked to appear before the disciplinary committee."

It was not immediately clear when that would happen.

The BCCI is investigating Modi over his involvement in the bids for the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab at the inaugural Indian Premier League auction in 2008. He is also being investigated over the awarding of two new IPL franchises last month and a broadcast deal.

He was suspended from his role as IPL commissioner in April and is barred from participating in the operation of the IPL, the cricket board or any of its committees while charges against him are investigated.

Modi, a wealthy businessman who has been involved in top level cricket administration since 2004, has sent the BCCI written replies to the allegations against him and said that his running of the IPL was completely transparent and denied any corruption.

Dozens of international cricket stars are contracted to the IPL, which is set to be expanded from eight to 10 clubs in 2011.

The IPL became embroiled in controversy after Modi revealed details on his Twitter account about the ownership of one of the two new clubs, questioning why a 25% stake was given to a group that included a friend of India's junior foreign minister, Shashi Tharoor.

Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, resigned amid allegations of corruption in the bidding for a team at auction in April, when a group made a successful bid of more than $330m for the Kochi franchise.

Tharoor said he did help put together the Kochi investment group, but only because he wanted to bring a team to the state of Kerala, part of which he represents in Parliament.