Mumbai: Backing his one-time nemesis Shashank Manohar over his scathing views that the cash-rich IPL has lost some of its credibility, former chairman of the T20 League Lalit Modi has said the upcoming season of the tournament needs to be suspended to clean up the game.
“I completely agree with Mr Shashank Manohar and his observations on the fact that the serious allegations regarding betting, spot-fixing and match-fixing are (sic) all seriously tarnished the image of the game and importantly, the fans and the public at large are slowly but surely starting to lose faith in the Indian Premier League in particular and game at large,” said Modi, based now in London, in a statement.
“Thus, as I mentioned yesterday in one of my tweets the biggest and most important task ahead of the BCCI now would be to win back the hearts and faith of the fans. And that in my mind can be done only by ensuring that the BCCI promote what should be a clean game of cricket,” stated the man whose brainchild was IPL.
“Given the above context and the current goings-on, I think it only right that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended.”
Season seven of IPL is set to be held from April 16 with the first part of the event scheduled in UAE because of the general elections in the country.
Former BCCI chief Manohar had yesterday issued a media statement demanding the upcoming season of IPL be suspended and all IPL matches be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
“The Supreme Court’s observation is that there are very, very serious allegations made in the report (about IPL spot-fixing) and unless the BCCI president (N Srinivasan) steps down, no fair probe can be conducted,” Manohar had said.
“I had said long back, when the scandal broke, that all IPL matches should be investigated. I feel that a thorough probe needs to be done by CBI as the canvas of the activities extends throughout the country. In view of the serious allegations, regarding betting, spot-fixing and match-fixing, the public at large has lost it’s faith in IPL games,” Manohar had stated yesterday.
“Considering the latest developments in the BCCI, it is my considered opinion that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended.
“As regards suspending IPL 2014, the Board Members should remind themselves that money/profits is neither the aim nor the objective of the Board. The primary duty is to promote a clean game of cricket,” he added.
Interestingly, Srinivasan was the secretary and Manohar the president when BCCI suspended Modi after IPL season 3 in 2010 on allegations of financial impropriety. Later he was expelled by the Board’s general body.
Modi also took the chance to hit out at the current BCCI bigwigs saying they had a whole year after the fixing scandal broke during IPL season 6 and did nothing during this period.
“Unfortunately the BCCI had one full year – 365 days to gear up into some action, but alas to no avail. We all know what sadly happened. A lot of players, too, have felt the same way especially given the uncertainty in the air, but have failed to voice their opinions for want of a fierce backlash from the powers that be,” Modi has stated.
“I agree with Mr Shashank Manohar wholeheartedly, that had an unbiased thorough investigation happened when the scandal broke, we would have been on a better wicket today.
It is thus all the more critical that one meticulous probe be conducted immediately and all the erring parties be punished so that we are able to purge cricket and initiate a complete clean up, so that this generation and all future generations to come are able to view the gentleman’s game in right earnest.”
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