London: Lalit Modi, the former IPL chief in exile, has lashed out at the Indian cricket board (BCCI) for its running of the lucrative Twenty20 league while alleging that the 2009 auction was rigged in favour of the Chennai Super Kings, whose owner is the current BCCI president, N Srinivasan.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Modi alleged that when he was in charge of the IPL, the rules were tweaked to allow former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff to remains with Chennai. "The Flintoff auction was rigged," he said. "All players were supposed to go back to the auction after the first three years but that did not happen. I was arm-twisted into allowing Flintoff to stay with the Chennai team. The retention clause was not my idea. I had created a level playing field.
"The rules have been changed to favour some powerful BCCI members. If you tweak the model along the way it's going to fail. There is no level playing field in the IPL today. There is a lack of transparency now. Many wanted to be part of the game after it became a success."
Against the backdrop of Sahara India's pullout of the sponsorship of the Indian team and their withdrawal of the Pune Warriors franchise, Modi said the current IPL model had become untenable. "This model will not work. You have to keep the players in mind. There are things being done by the BCCI that in the long run will hurt Indian cricket."
Earlier on Saturday, Modi had tweeted, "Sahara termination - shows how unhappy the major sponsor and franchise owner is with the way BCCI deals with its partners. This is really a sad day. Sahara has been sports biggest supporter and pillar."
Modi, who was suspended as the IPL commissioner pending investigations into alleged financial irregularities, had a very public fallout with Srinivisan. He had earlier accused him of misusing his position as the Indian board secretary to benefit the Chennai franchise. He has now called for the sacking of Srinivisan in order for the smooth running of the IPL.
As a result of all that was going wrong, Modi also said the BCCI stands to lose Rs 10000 crore. "Its not rocket science. Look at the numbers. I've put them all there on my website. I dare the BCCI to prove me wrong."
Asked whether such a situation would have arose under his leadership, Modi said: "The IPL was fair and open when I was in charge in first three years and Sahara would not have pulled out during my time."