Modi defiant in shake-up

The Board of Control for Cricket in India appoint Chirayu Amin as interim chairman of the IPL - but Lalit Modi, the man they suspended, wasted little time in insisting he is still in control.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have appointed Chirayu Amin as interim chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) - and Lalit Modi, the man they suspended from the job, wasted little time in insisting he is still in control. Amin is a vice-president of the BCCI and the president of the Baroda Cricket Association, and was appointed by a unanimous decision at a governing council meeting in Mumbai yesterday.

The news came just hours after Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, announced the suspension of Modi, the IPL commissioner and chairman, who stands accused of a range of alleged misdemeanours from rigging financial bids to betting and bribery. Modi, who was ousted immediately after the conclusion of the final of the third IPL tournament in Mumbai late on Sunday night, remained defiant. He insisted he remained in the role and indicated that he would challenge the board's decision.

He wrote on his page on the social networking site Twitter: "Thank you all for your message of support. It is really appreciated. I am still chairman of IPL. Just suspended. Wait - we have just begun." The BCCI's Manohar had been just as adamant about Modi's suspension. "The IPL is a great property and commercial aspects in certain events is an important thing," Manohar said. "However, ethics and transparency is more important.

"In the last 15 days there have been a lot of allegations and counter allegations made in the media as a result of which the board has looked into the allegations which were levelled. "It took a decision to issue a show-cause notice to Mr Lalit Modi and, pending inquiry, decided to suspend him. "In today's meeting, the members unanimously appointed Mr Chirayu Amin as the interim chairman of the IPL.

"We have also asked Prof Ratnakar Shetty [chief administrative officer], to look into all the records because many of the documents are missing from the offices of the IPL and the board. Every day the income tax department is asking for documents but we don't have them in our custody. "Therefore Prof Shetty will look into all these aspects in connection with the documents." Modi had at first refused to attend the governing council meeting, calling it illegal and unauthorised as only he, as IPL chairman, had the powers to convene the council.

He had also accused the members of the BCCI of attempting to pressure him into resigning. However, in a complete turnaround, Modi not only decided to attend the meeting, but also sought to chair the gathering, a decision which prompted the BCCI to issue the suspension and show-cause notice. Modi has been given 15 days to respond to the show-cause notice and Manohar indicated the charges against him would be dropped if he is able to show the allegations against him are unfounded. "As the tournament was on, we did not want it to be disrupted and so the show-cause notice was sent only after the presentation ceremony was over," he said.

"The board will hold an inquiry in the matter after receiving a reply from Mr Modi if necessary or if the reply of Mr Modi convinces the members the proceedings would be dropped." Manohar maintained the members of the governing council were unaware of the decisions taken by Modi, although the former chairman has refuted those allegations. Manohar also revealed the governing council had appointed Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar and MAK Pataudi to discuss the possibility of limiting the number of foreign players in the league from next year.

* PA