Amin takes temporary charge of IPL after Modi suspension

Chirayu Amin will manage the league while charges against Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi are investigated.

With Lalit Modi suspended amid allegations of corruption dating back to the inaugural season in 2008, the Indian Premier League's governing council today elected another national cricket board vice president as its interim chairman. Shashank Manohar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which sanctions the IPL, said Chirayu Amin would manage the league while charges against IPL chairman Modi were investigated. Manohar said Modi was being investigated over the initial bids for Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in the original 2008 auctions, a broadcast deal, bid rigging of two new clubs last month and his own behaviour. In the meantime, Modi is barred from participating in the operation of the IPL, the cricket board or any of its committees in the meantime. "It's the BCCI's duty to look into the allegations, and to have an inquiry it's important to suspend the person concerned," Manohar said. "It is not a punishment. The person has to be kept out of the board's functioning to make sure a free and fair inquiry. "IPL is a great property and loved by everyone, but ethics and transparency are most important."

Manohar announced Modi's suspension following the IPL final late Sunday, after days of mounting controversy following raids by tax officials on the offices of the lucrative Twenty20 league and the BCCI. Manohar said Modi's "alleged acts of individual misdemeanours" had "brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself." He said the BCCI was concerned about missing documents in the IPL finances "as the income tax officials have been asking for them." Modi, who is a vice president of the BCCI, today said his running of the IPL was completely transparent and denied any corruption. Indian politicians have demanded a parliamentary inquiry into claims that IPL clubs had been sold for millions of dollars without accounting for the source of the funds. "A lot of allegations and counter-allegations have been made through the media during the past 15 days. We have looked into the allegations that have been leveled," Manohar told reporters. Manohar said Modi would be been given 15 days to show why "disciplinary action should not be taken against him." An investigation by the BCCI's chief administrator into the IPL records had already shown "a lot of documents missing," Manohar said. Manohar reportedly rejected requests for him to take over as the IPL chairman. The IPL's governing council scheduled another meeting in a month. Amin, a businessman who heads the Baroda Cricket Association, said he would focus on bringing transparency to IPL affairs. "The immediate task is to clean up the IPL. The event has just concluded and we'll now start planning for the next year," Amin said. Most credit for the rapid evolution of the lucrative IPL Twenty20 competition has been credited to Modi, who also heads the BCCI's fixtures committee that decides the venues and itinerary of international matches in India. Modi's suspension put an end to debate over his role in Monday's governing council meeting. Initially,he'd attempted to have the meeting deferred to May 1, saying that he alone was empowered to call for such a meeting. But Modi changed course yesterday to say he wanted to chair the meeting and discuss all allegations against him. He demanded that the charges against him be made in writing and with proof, which media reports said forced Manohar's hand. "The BCCI is scared of the truth. Nothing wrong has been done," New Delhi Television quoted Modi as saying today. "Every decision was endorsed by the governing council." Modi,a wealthy businessman who has been involved in top level cricket administration since 2004, had earlier said he'd take the blame if irregularities had occurred. "If there is any flouting of rules and any irregularities, I shall take full responsibility," Press Trust of India quoted him as saying. "I assure millions of passionate fans of the league and the game across the globe that the IPL is clean and transparent. "We should not allow this brand to be diluted and we will not." Federal finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said income tax authorities were investigating the sources and channels of funding of the IPL team owners, who range from wealthy industrialists to Bollywood actors. Dozens of international cricket stars are contracted to the league, which is set to 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 per cent 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 last month, when a group made a successful bid of more than $330million (Dh1.2billion) for the Kochi franchise. It was alleged that the shares were really for Tharoor. 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.

* AP