September 29, 2010

Gavaskar becomes latest IPL casualty


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The iconic figure of Sunil Gavaskar has been dropped from the Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has retained the other two former captains, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Ravi Shastri.

In a major overhaul of the IPL, the BCCI in its 81st annual general meeting on September 29, decided to oust Gavaskar from the Twenty20 league's Governing Council, which was reduced to a seven-member panel with a tenure of just one year, while effectively shutting the door on its former Chairman Lalit Modi without expelling him.

"The IPL Governing Council constitution was changed on September 29 at the AGM. The period of the Governing Council, which is a sub-committee, of the Board has been reduced to one year from five years," BCCI President, Shashank Manohar, announced during the briefing soon after the AGM.

"It will have five members and two cricketers will be part of the committee. Earlier, cricketers were used to be paid Rs one crore but BCCI decided no payment will be made from now onwards," he said.

The BCCI in its also decided to withdraw suits filed against former president Jagmohan Dalmiya in Bombay High Court and also revoked the expulsion imposed on him in 2006.

In the meeting, secretary N Srinivasan was elected as the president-elect and will take over from Shashank Manohar next year. Niranjan Shah, an IPL Vice President, was made the Vice President from the west zone and he replaced Chirayu Amin, who has completed his tenure. Amin is now also the chairman of the IPL.

Rajiv Shukla became the Vice President from Central Zone in place of Modi. The other Vice Presidents were Arindam Ganguly (East Zone), Arun Jaitley (North Zone) and Shivlal Yadav (South Zone). Sanjay Jagdale and M P Pandove would continue as the Joint Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Gavaskar, it may be recalled, had remarked that he and other fellow cricketers had complete faith in financial experts in the committee.

Gavaskar, in a newspaper article, had expressed regret over the fact that he did not have much knowledge of financial and legal issues, so was unable to understand what was discussed in IPL meeting.

"Pity, we cricketers don't have so much knowledge, for then we would have been able to understand a lot of the financial and legal issues that came up in council meetings. We cricketers looked at all the others who were knowledgeable about finance and trusted their expertise," Gavaskar wrote.

"When it came to cricketing matters, they looked at us and when we talked cricket they nodded their heads too," he added.

The third edition of the IPL was embroiled in controversies, including allegations that former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor was trying to influence franchisees. Tharoor resigned from his post as a Minister following a controversy between Modi and him over ownership details of the Kochi IPL franchise.

Tharoor had also requested Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to conduct a thorough investigation of the charges, while denying any wrongdoing.


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