The top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) boycotted the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) awards night, held at a suburban hotel here on Friday evening in the wake of the spat with IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar, secretary N. Srinivasan, and IPL vice-chairman Niranjan Shah stayed away from the event.

Team owners present

However, team owners Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Preity Zinta (Kings XI Punjab), Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra (Rajasthan Royals), Gayatri Reddy (Deccan Chargers) and Jay Mehta (Kolkata Knight Riders) were present.

The entire governing council, barring Sunil Gavaskar, also stayed away, though most players attended the ceremony.

The awards night, to honour the best-performing players in the IPL over the last month and half, was a Bollywood-style entertainment extravaganza, hosted by KKR owner and actor Shah Rukh Khan and director Karan Johar.

Invitations sent to all

Invitations had been sent to all BCCI and IPL's governing council members, franchise owners, players and support staff, along with owners of the two new teams — Kochi and Pune — which are to make their debut in 2011.

Among the team owners, Dr. Mallya stopped for a brief interaction with journalists. He rubbished allegations of match-fixing and said people should wait till the investigation is over.

“I don't know who is talking about all this match-fixing,” said the liquor and aviation tycoon.

Rather, Dr. Mallya found fault with politicians who, he alleged, were raising an “unnecessary storm.”

“I think there has been lot of drama, hype and sensationalism. I would say this is uncalled for. Even our senior politicians don't seem to understand the concept of IPL and what it is all about, and they jump to conclusions,” said the RCB owner, who has been backing Mr. Modi all along.

“I wish there is a proper, calm and comprehensive inquiry and people who read the report will realise that this is a storm that is quite unnecessary.”

Print media excluded

Reporters from the print and electronic media have been excluded from the function, while photographers and television TV camera crew would be able to shoot the proceedings.

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