Indian Premier League Chairman Lalit Modi's message on Twitter that “People pressuring me to resign. I can tell you [it] will not happen. Let them remove me then'' put an end to all speculation (in television channels) right through Saturday that he would resign as IPL Chairman.
It was a clear indication that he is ready for a fight to the finish with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of which he is the Vice-President. There were rumours of him being hospitalised, but once again he was on Twitter saying, “False news. Not hospitalised at all. Well and ready to take on what rubbish all have been saying.'' He also said on the social networking site that “Wait for the IPL to finish. I will reveal the men who have tried to bring disrepute to the game and how we stopped them from doing it.''
Five years ago Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar, Niranjan Shah, N. Srinivasan and Lalit Modi were on the same side and pitted against Jagmohan Dalmiya. After a failed attempt to become BCCI President in 2004 and an adjourned AGM in Kolkata in September 2005, Mr. Pawar became the President in November 2005. The BCCI signed high-end agreements with Sahara, Nike and Nimbus and it seemed that the BCCI was a happy house.
The success of the IPL in 2008 and in South Africa in 2009 suggested that all was fine with the group that worked towards achieving a goal of taking the reins of the BCCI from Mr. Dalmiya. But last year BCCI President Shashank Manohar stepped in and took a firm decision by terminating the services of the International Management Group (IMG) and renegotiating a new agreement that reduced the IMG fee from Rs. 43 crore to Rs. 33 crore.
It was Mr. Pawar's explanation that a 10-year agreement had been signed with IMG that made Mr. Manohar initiate talks with IMG again.
Then recently in mid-March Mr. Manohar did not allow Mr. Modi to open the bid documents at an IPL Governing Council meeting stating that he and the BCCI were not privy to the stiff clauses incorporated in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) to ascertain two additional franchises.
Mr. Manohar was also responsible for banning Ravindra Jadeja for one IPL season after the all-rounder violated the IPL Code of Conduct for Players.
Clearly the relations between Mr. Manohar and Mr. Modi had become strained, in particular after Mr. Manohar asked the Hon. Secretary N. Srinivasan to convene an Emergent GC meeting of the IPL on Monday.
Mr. Manohar, not one of the partying type, did not attend the Sahara IPL Awards function on Friday night and there's every chance that he will give a miss to the DLF-IPL III final and closing ceremony at the DY Patil Stadium here on Sunday.