In 2008, Lalit Modi was instrumental in launching the Indian Premier League (IPL), a league based around Twenty20 cricket, where each team is limited to batting for a maximum of 20 overs. he also engineered the Indian Premier League's move to South Africa in 2009 after the dates of the tournament clashed with the Indian general election and the Union Minister of Home Affairs, P. Chidambaram, could not commit to the security of the tournament. The IPL has since grown into one of the world's biggest sports, worth over US$4 billion. The commercial success of the Indian Premier League and Modi's control of the league has led to him being compared to Don King and Bernie Ecclestone. In 2010, Modi oversaw the bidding process and creation of two new teams in the Indian Premier League. Pune and Kochi were declared the new franchises. A Twitter entry by Modi declaring the stakeholders of the Kochi IPL Team allegedly breaching confidentiality agreements led to the resignation of the then Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. Shashi Tharoor. Modi was then suspended as Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL in April 2010. A suspension notice and a 34-page letter stating 22 charges of impropriety were served via email to Modi. Modi publicly protested his innocence immediately after the 2010 Indian Premier League Final had been played. An income tax department report on Modi has revealed that he holds a silent stake in three IPL teams - the Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. Furthermore, there are questions as to whether Modi was involved in match fixing and betting in Indian Premier League games. He is also under fire for helping his family and friends buy stakes in Indian Premier League teams.  Mihir Bose Interview On 25th November 2010 an exclusive interview conducted in London between Mihir Bose and Lalit Modi was posted on the official www.lalitmodi.org website. During his first interview since being suspended as commissioner of the IPL, Lalit Modi rejected a number of allegations levelled against him during his career. Global news networks, newspapers and social media sources reported on the interview, including The Times of India, AFP and The Economic Times.  When Modi was asked whether Indian cricket needed the IPL, he pointed out that when the IPL was conceived it was: “considered to be a pioneering project”, and was something: “that the people of India needed and wanted.”  Modi made clear that his family and friends benefited financially from the IPL because they were helping to finance the businesses during its infancy, whilst Modi was attempting to find buyers.  When questioned about the US$80 million that Modi allegedly cost the BCCI, he explained to Bose: “You’re putting the question wrong. The way I did the deals I made the BCCI billions of dollars not cost them eighty million dollars.”  Modi indicated that his security agencies advised him not to return to India until the threat level reduced. Security protection has remained high since Modi moved the IPL to South Africa in 2009.  The interview was also hosted on the official Lalit Modi YouTube channel A cricketing scandal in India looked set to turn into a full-blown political crisis today, as senior opposition political figures sought to exploit what they say is ministers' "misuse of power" before a crucial parliamentary vote next week. The main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), called on two government ministers to resign following allegations of conflicts of interest and demanded an independent parliamentary investigation. The parliamentary session was briefly suspended amid rowdy scenes. The sporting scandal, which revolves around alleged tax evasion, possible betting and misuse of political influence in the multibillion pound Indian Premier League (IPL), has already claimed one minister who was forced to give up his post when it became known that a close female friend had a stake in a newly- created team. "A lot of people, including people in the government, are neck deep in this scam. [The] IPL has turned out to be a huge scam. I think the worst ever, the biggest ever in this country," said Yashwant Sinha, a BJP member of parliament. Sharad Yadav, from a smaller opposition party, called the IPL a "den of thieves". Lalit Modi, the flamboyant chief executive of the IPL, was questioned for several hours by investigators from tax and foreign exchange authorities today. Modi denies all wrongdoing and has said he is happy to co-operate with any inquiries. However, the position of the controversial businessman and sports administrator, who is credited with creating a tournament now estimated to be worth more than £2.6bn, is increasingly fragile. Modi, 46, is expected to be told to resign at a meeting of Indian cricketing authorities on Monday. An Indian news magazine today claimed that phone conversations between Modi and Sharad Pawar, the agriculture minister and Modi's main protector and sponsor, had been tapped by intelligence agents on the orders of the government. Outlook said that the operation was one of many carried out in recent years against senior politicians, a charge that sparked immediate outrage from politicians and journalists. The offices of a series of IPL teams, many of which are owned by Bollywood stars and corporate tycoons, have been raided by tax authorities in recent days, leading commentators to compare the scandal with the last such affair in Indian cricket: the match-fixing scandal of 2000. Pawar is among those targeted by the opposition. A former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and a key political ally of the ruling Congress party, he is accused of improperly using his office to influence bids for IPL contracts, a charge he denies. A second minister is accused of diverting a passenger plane from the national carrier Air India for use by IPL players. India has been transfixed by the affair, which has dominated headlines all week and put the government of Manmohan Singh on the defensive, days ahead of a parliamentary confidence motion over high fuel prices. Though the coalition government, elected last year, is expected by analysts to survive as few politicians currently want to see a new election, Singh has looked out of touch. Harish Khare, political editor of The Hindu newspaper said that any damage the scandal could cause to the government was limited. "The IPL is a private enterprise that is having some doubtful moments. The government still have the numbers [in parliament]," Khare said. The IPL is now coming to the end of its third season and remains immensely popular. An astonishing spectacle with three-hour, Twenty20 (20-over) games featuring world-class players paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and cheerleaders paid considerably less. It has created a huge fanbase that cuts across caste, class and culture. Sachin Tendulkar, the international cricketing star and captain of IPL team the Mumbai Indians, described recent events as "rough patches". "Life is not always a smooth journey ... I am sure cricket will overcome all those hurdles," he told an Indian television channel. MELBOURNE: The corruption scandal that has rocked international cricket could engulf the Indian Premier League as well with reports here claiming that a leading batsman played so "suspiciously" in the event that he had to be moved up the order to stop him from "manipulating matches". According to a report in 'The Australian', quoting two unnamed IPL officials, "a leading batsman had played so suspiciously that they could not explain his behaviour." Ads by Google Seamless SEQR Redefining the way we pay 50% cost savings vs Visa/Mastercard www.seamless.se Zdravookhraneniye 2011 Numerous laser therapy innovations Pav. 8, Hall 3, Booth No. 83E30 www.biolitec.de "...both officials agreed that his performances were highly suspect. They did not want him named for fear that it could be traced back to them and lead to retribution in India," the report stated. The newspaper said the officials found the "player's performances were puzzling, particularly scoring slowly towards the end of an innings when the opposite should have been happening." "He consistently under-performed and often appeared uninterested or distracted." The report said IPL officials have also been receiving complaints of "matches being rigged" by various franchises. "He has been under the scanner for a while," the official said. The newspaper said the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit is "frustrated" with several boards in the subcontinent "for failing to take stronger action against their players after being provided with information about dubious behaviour. The two main targets have been the Pakistan team and the IPL." The latest report comes in the wake of the ongoing spot-fixing scandal exposed by a British tabloid which has led to the suspension of three Pakistani cricketers -- Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif and an inquiry by the Scotland Yard. The Indian Premier League (IPL) may be the biggest and brashest tournament cricket has ever seen, but the alleged behind the scenes financial irregularities may end up seeing India as the real loser, a report in 'The Times' has claimed. According to the report, India has 1.2 billion people, many of them crazy about cricket. Most are growing wealthier and the number who can afford to buy satellite TV subscriptions and replica shirts is growing. More than that, for many Indians, the IPL is an emblem of their aspirations and proof of how the epicenter of the global economy is shifting East. It is also a symbol of what they believe India is destined to become: a true global power. In short, the IPL was an icon of a “New India” – one that was supposed to have shed the corruption, nepotism, cronyism and political patronage of the past. Kolkata Knight Riders (Bengali: ; often abbreviated as KKR) is the franchise representing Kolkata in the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 cricket tournament. Sourav Ganguly led the team in IPL1 and IPL3, Brendon McCullum in IPL2, and Gautam Gambhir in IPL4. Sourav Ganguly was the team's Icon Player for the first three seasons. The official theme of the team is Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re (Bengali for We will do it, Fight for it, Win it) and the official colors are purple and gold. As per the recent study done by a UK based brand valuation company, Kolkata Knight Riders are ranked as the second most valuable franchise brand at US$46 million. Celebrity co-owner Shahrukh Khan’s hard-selling of the KKR brand has counteracted the team’s poor on-field performance through the first three seasons. The team's performance, however, improved in the fourth season as it qualified for the playoffs and the champions league for the first time. The home of the Kolkata Knight Riders is Eden Gardens, the largest and most iconic cricket stadium in India. It is also one of the largest stadiums in Asia, together with Salt Lake Stadium and Bung Karno Stadium.Contents [hide] 1 Franchise History 1.1 2008 IPL Season 1.2 2009 IPL Season 1.3 2010 IPL Season 1.4 2011 IPL Season 2 Livery 3 Players 4 Current squad 5 Stadium 6 Administration 7 Sponsors and Partners 8 Champions League Twenty20 8.1 2011 CLT20 Season 9 Fixtures and results 9.1 Overall results 10 Result Summary 10.1 2008 season 10.2 2009 season 10.3 2010 season 10.4 2011 season 10.5 2011 Champions League Twenty20 11 References 12 External links  Franchise History Owner Shahrukh Khan (left) with Sourav Ganguly, and Gauri Khan, wife of Shahrukh Khan. A Chennai vs Kolkata match in progress at the M.A. Chidambaram Cricket Stadium. In 2008, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) created the cricket tournament Indian Premier League based on the Twenty20 form of the game. For the inaugural tournament held in Apr–Jun of the same year, a list of 8 teams who will be participating in the tournament was finalised. The teams representing 8 different cities of India, including Kolkata, were put up on auction in Mumbai on 20 February. Kolkata Knight Riders was bought by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan's company Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with actress Juhi Chawla Mehta and her husband Jay Mehta for a price of USD 75.09 million (Rs 357 crores).  2008 IPL Season Main article: 2008 Indian Premier League The Kolkata Knight Riders made a good start to the season by winning their first two matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers. Kolkata Knight Riders' opening batsman Brendon McCullum scored 158 runs in the first match, which is a record for the most runs ever scored by a batsman in a Twenty-20 match. However, the team began to experience failures and lost the next four matches. The team managed to stage a comeback of sorts by winning the next three matches, helped by strong performances by Sourav Ganguly and Shoaib Akhtar. But their performance dipped again and they lost the next three matches. These included their match against Mumbai Indians, in which they were bowled out for 67 runs, the lowest score by a team in the IPL 2008 season. When their match against Delhi Daredevils was washed out due to rain, they lost any chance of making it to the semi finals. The Knight Riders ended their season on a winning note by defeating Kings XI Punjab on their home ground. The team faced various issues in it's first season such as team composition, Ganguly's choice of batting first in the game against Chennai Super Kings, entertainment tax being imposed for matches played at Eden Gardens. Shahrukh Khan was barred by the International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption Unit from entering the dressing room of the team when matches were in progress. Shahrukh Khan then issued a statement that he would be boycotting the remaining matches of the IPL till the code of conduct was clarified by the IPL authorities. Financially, the Kolkata Knight Riders were easily the most successful franchise in the IPL, achieving a profit of Rs. 13 crore. Many say, this was solely due to the efforts of Shah Rukh Khan who supported and cheered for his team despite their dismal performance.  2009 IPL Season Main article: 2009 Indian Premier League Kolkata Knight Riders was among the least active franchises during the offseason, with no player trades. However, the team signed Mohnish Parmar during the offseason and also re-signed Ajantha Mendis to a long term deal. Ganguly was removed from the captaincy in the 11th hour and replaced by Brendon McCullum based on a series of theories discussing "multiple-captains". Soon thereafter, a blog by an anonymous author surfaced on the web. The blogger claimed to be a member of the team. The posts described what the blogger claimed were team meetings, arguments between staff and team members, post-match parties and pre-match strategy. It created a lot of media frenzy, but was eventually found to be a fake. KKR also set up a Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) in 2009 to spot local talent nationwide. This was based on BCCI's 2002-06 model which had discovered talents like MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. The wing was headed by Makarand Wainganker, who had first initiated the TRDW concept for the KSCA. However, Wainganker eventually resigned after persistent disagreements with John Buchanan over team selection and Buchanan's "multiple captains" theory. KKR were the first team in IPL to select their cheer leaders by a talent hunt show called Knights and Angels, judged by Sourav Ganguly and Guest Star and hosted by Bollywood actor Purab Kohli. However, the winning team did not get a chance to perform at games during the 2009 season since local authorities only allowed South African cheerleaders to be used. At the end of IPL season 2, Kolkata Knight Riders was amongst the most profitable franchisees along side Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils.  2010 IPL Season Main article: 2010 Indian Premier League The Kolkata Knight Riders traded Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques for Manoj Tiwary and Owais Shah. At the Player auctions they managed to successfully buy Shane Bond in the silent tie-breaker against competing bids from Deccan Chargers. The Kolkata Knight Riders had a fantastic start to the season by beating Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore. That was followed by three consecutive defeats at the hands of Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians. The Knight Riders then had a roller-coaster ride in the tournament. After 11 games, they were required to win all their three remaining games to qualify for the semi-finals. A defeat at the MAC Stadium at the hands of Chennai Super Kings put paid to their chances. However, the Knight Riders made a decent comeback by beating the Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in their last two games.  2011 IPL Season Main article: 2011 Indian Premier League In this edition of the IPL, the Kolkata Knight Riders decided to revamp the team, starting with a new look and by changing the entire set of players. Sourav Ganguly, the team's captain for the past three years was dropped in the IPL auction held earlier that year. Gautam Gambhir, who was bought for a record- breaking $2.4 million was appointed as skipper. KKR also managed to buy Yusuf Pathan for a whopping $ 2.1 million. other international names were added to the squad, including Shakib Al Hasan, Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee and Ryan ten Doeschate. Brad Haddin was replaced by Mark Boucher in mid-season due to a finger injury he sustained during practice. The Kolkata Knight Riders had a disappointing start of season, losing to Chennai Super Kings by 2 runs. But they came back stronger, winning their next three matches against Deccan Chargers and Rajasthan Royals at Kolkata and Jaipur. After two consecutive defeats in Kolkata, the team had a string of wins against Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers. The crowds did not support the team at the beginning of the season. But their reaction gradually improved as the team's performance began to improve and the Eden Gardens stadium began to witness screaming KKR fans again as the team qualified for the playoffs for the first time. In the eliminator they lost to Mumbai Indians owing to the last over which conceded 21 runs,losing their chance to enter the top three playoffs for the first time. In the 2011 edition of the IPL , Sourav Ganguly was not picked by the owners and team officials. This created a huge uproar in Kolkata. Fans were angry and went on a protest march. However , due to the brilliant performance of the KKR team , which was newly built , the uproar came to an halt. KKR finished amongst the top of teams after the completion of the mid season game-play. The final match against Mumbai Indians played at Eden Garden witnessed, for the first time, an overcapacity with over 80.000 tickets sold.  Livery KKR Merchandise The logo of the team consists of a blazing golden Viking helmet against a black background with the name of the team Kolkata Knight Riders written in gold. The main theme of the team Korbo, Lorbo, Jitbo Re (We will do it, Fight for it, Win it) has been created by Vishal-Shekhar duo. A Knight Rider album with several singers and music composers including Usha Uthup and Bappi Lahiri was also be created. The tag line of the team is All the King's Men. The team's official colours were black and gold during the first two seasons it was later changed to purple and gold and was kept so. The jersey was created by Bollywood fashion designer Manish Malhotra. The name Knight Riders has been chosen keeping in view the kids and the youth. The new anthem of the team has been composed by Salim- Suleiman and is crooned by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.  Players Former Captain Ganguly with other cricketers of the Kolkata Knight Riders team during IPL 2009. Sourav Ganguly, the former captain of the Indian cricket team was the icon player and led the Kolkata franchise in the inaugural season 2008 and 2010. He was unceremoniously dumped when KKR released all the players and did not rebid for Sourav during the 2011 Jan auctions. The earlier team also included all rounders Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Angelo Mathews, wicket keeper batsmen Brendon McCullum, Wriddhiman Saha. The main bowlers are Shane Bond, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Ajit Agarkar and Murali Karthik. Australian batsman Bradley Hodge and Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis were bought outside IPL Auction on 2008. On IPL Auction 2009 Team bought Bangladeshi All- Rounder Mashrafe Mortaza. Team also includes Charl Langeveldt who was signed outside of Auction. Due to unavailability of Pakistani players in 2009 KKR had to suspend contract of key performer from the 2008 season Umar Gul. On 26 April 2009, KKR administration sent back two of its players Akash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar on the premises of poor performance. Shane Bond was the latest KKR acquisition after releasing Ricky Ponting, Morne van Wyk, Umar Gul, Salman Butt, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar for IPL III. Moises Henriques was traded to Delhi in return for Owais Shah and Manoj Tiwary. Their international players for the 2010 season were - Shane Bond, Mashrafe Mortaza, Brendon McCullum, Charl Langeveldt, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Owais Shah & Chris Gayle. In the 2011 season, KKR drastically revamped their squad. Former captain and icon player Saurav Ganguly was not purchased in the January auction. The team appointed Gautam Gambhir, who was bought for a record-breaking $2.4 million as skipper.Yusuf Pathan was also picked up for a whopping $ 2.1 million. other international names were added to the squad, include Shakib Al Hasan, Brad Haddin, Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee, Ryan ten Doeschate and Eoin Morgan. Haddin was replaced by Mark Boucher mid-season due to injury. World cricket faces a deepening crisis following the suspension of the Indian Premier League commissioner, Lalit Modi, by the Indian board as an investigation begins into allegations of sleaze and corruption at the heart of the Twenty20 competition that has taken the game into a land of high finance. The England and Wales Cricket Board, among others, nervously awaits proof that the Indian board can prevent a deepening crisis. "This has been coming for a long time," an ECB official said. "We will now see what Indian cricket is made of." India is so powerful, accounting for an estimated 75% of the game's revenue, that, if it fails to restore its shattered credibility, the damage will reverberate around all corners of the cricketing world. The most pressing question for Modi, who has a fortnight to respond to the charges against him, is the exact whereabouts of documentation over an $80m (£51.8m) "facilitation fee" said to have been paid to settle a complex legal wrangle over IPL TV rights. He must also answer charges of manipulating bidding for the IPL's two newest franchises, in Pune and Kochi, and if he answers all that satisfactorily, he will still be castigated for his maverick business practices, where announcements are made on Twitter and cronyism and politicking are allegedly rife. But many argue that the problems run deeper and that the allegations against Modi are symptomatic of the inadequacies of an Indian board that is said to be awash with political involvement and which, even it had the appetite to do so, has not modernised enough to regulate the voracious capitalism that now permeates the game. Chirayu Amin, president of the Baroda Cricket Association, and the antithesis of Modi in his lack of public recognition, has been appointed the IPL's interim commissioner. "The immediate task is to clean up the IPL," said Amin, head of a pharmaceuticals company. Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, said Modi's suspension "was not a punishment, it's just for free and fair inquiry". He then took the IPL on to new ground – that of integrity. "Commercial aspect is important, also ethics are important," he said. The TV rights dispute was largely of Modi's own making. Worldwide rights for the IPL were sold to World Sports Group (Mauritius) and Indian rights to Multi Screen Media (Singapore), on a sub-licence from WSG. But MSM was sacked before IPL2 for breach of contract. A legal wrangle ensued and the Bombay high court ruled that the Indian board was within its rights to renegotiate. MSM rebid but wanted to bid directly rather than as an offshoot of WSG. It was given the right but only if it paid an $80m facility fee to free itself. It is that facility fee that the Indian tax authorities are investigating. It is that facility fee about which Manohar said: "There is an allegation that a facilitation fee was paid but the board does not have the document. This deal happened between MSM and WSG. All the documents are with Lalit Modi." The Indian tax authorities are investigating the complex ownership of some of the franchises, notably Rajasthan Royals, whose initial front man was Manoj Badale, owner of a UK company, Emerging Media, but whose consortium then expanded to include Modi's son-in-law, Suresh Chellaram; Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch; and Raj Kundra, husband of the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Rajasthan Royals claim their ownership structure is "completely transparent", saying: "There are no 'secret stakeholders'. After we won the bid, we needed to form a properly incorporated vehicle which represented the various consortium stakeholders. This has been done with complete transparency." Before the Modi affair took centre stage India was consumed by reports that Indian tax authorities were investigating the bank accounts of 27 players because of match-fixing allegations in last season's IPL in South Africa. Since match-rigging allegations first shook cricket 10 years ago, the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit claims to have controlled the problem, but they have no jurisdiction in the IPL. Modi Entertainment Networks Modi started a 10-year joint venture with Walt Disney Pictures in 1993, called Modi Entertainment Networks (MEN), to broadcast some of Disney's content in India, including Fashion TV. In 1994, he became the pan-India distributor of ESPN on a ten-year contract worth $975 million. His job was to collect money from the cable companies in India in exchange for them broadcasting ESPN. The deal, gave ESS exclusive global commercial rights for all T20 Champions League seasons until 2017, making it the highest cricket tournament by value on a per game basis. Apart from ESS, bids were received from Abu Dhabi Sports Club and Dubai International Capital (DIC). While the DIC bid was for $751.3 million, Abu Dhabi Sports Club’s bid, being a conditional one, was disqualified. ESS had bid $900 million for the deal and an additional $75 million for marketing. Of the deal, ESS Managing Director, Manu Sawhney said: “This deal will cement our relationship with BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa and we are committed to setting new benchmarks in broadcast and distribution.” Lalit Modi, who was IPL chairman and commissioner at the time, said: “We believe this is the best commercial deal for Champions League.” In 2008 ESPN, paid almost US$1 billion for the global rights to the Twenty20 Champions League, in a ten year deal. Lalit Modi called it: “The best commercial deal for the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 season and for cricket fans across the world.”  On 24th January 2008 The Indian Premier League announced the new owners of eight franchises. The base price of the auction was set at US$400 million, but the final auction total reached US$723.59 million. Mumbai was the most expensive team, costing US$111.9 million.  In October 2009, Nimbus Communications paid US$431 million for the rights to India's home international games for four years, which commenced in April 2010. Although the deal didn’t include internet or radio rights, Lalit Modi indicated the deal was: "The highest price ever that will be paid per match by a broadcaster to any national board."  Pune and Kochi were unveiled on 21st March 2010 as the two new franchises for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League. Pune was bought by Sahara Adventure Sports Group for US$370 million and the Kochi franchise was bought by Rendezvous Sports World Limited for $333.3 million. The auction fetched a total US$723.59 million.  AROUND midnight on April 25th, as the final of the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) came to a close, Lalit Modi, the cricket tournament’s manager and mastermind, declared to a dwindling crowd, “I reassure millions of passionate fans of the league and the game across the globe that IPL is clean and transparent.” Moments later the BCCI, India’s cricket board, which owns the IPL, suspended him while investigating claims that the opposite is true. Mr Modi is said to have presided over a litany of financial irregularities at the IPL, whose short and fast- paced version of cricket, called Twenty20, has been wildly popular and a commercial success, generating billions of dollars in broadcasting rights and attracting lavish bids for the privilege of owning a team. According to Shashank Manohar, the BCCI’s president, “misdemeanours” on Mr Modi’s part “have brought a bad name to the administration of cricket and the game itself.” Mr Modi is alleged to have overseen an accounting regime of such opacity that the BCCI cannot work out who owns at least two of the IPL’s ten city-based teams, the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. For example, although the Royals are understood to be part-owned by Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra (a Bollywood actress and her husband), Mr Manohar said neither appeared to be named as a stakeholder in the company’s documents. Ms Shetty responded, via Twitter, that although Mr Kundra is indeed a co- owner of the team, she is merely its brand ambassador. Relatives of Mr Modi are alleged to hold stakes in both teams. In this section Another American way »Modi blues Emperors and beggars Scaring the salarymen Hard yards Lights and action The corruption eruption Reprints Related topics Sport Cricket The Kings XI was one of four teams whose offices were searched by tax inspectors last week, as part of a separate government investigation into the IPL. An official involved in the search claimed to have found “incriminating documents” at the premises of another team, the Kolkata Knight Riders. The inspectors also raided offices of the IPL and the BCCI and questioned Mr Modi. Yet Mr Manohar said that important IPL documents requested by the investigators, including some related to the teams’ ownership, appeared to be missing. The BcCI has appointed a senior member, Ratnakar Shetty, to search for them. Other allegations against Mr Modi, said Mr Manohar, without offering details, relate to the allotment of IPL broadcasting and internet rights. The BCCi’s boss also questioned Mr Modi’s “behavioural pattern”— a possible reference to the IPL chief’s glamorous lifestyle. He has become synonymous with the IPL’s culture of ostentation and celebrity, jetting from game to game and hobnobbing with the film stars and tycoons he persuaded to buy IPL teams. Few of these glitterati are now speaking up for him. Mr Modi has been given 15 days to defend himself against the BCCI’s charges, or face dismissal. The scandal has already claimed the job of Shashi Tharoor, a junior foreign minister. He was forced to resign on April 18th, just before the government announced its investigation into the IPL, over allegations that he had an inappropriate role in the launch of a new team in March. It was sold at auction for $333m to a firm called Rendez Vous Sports World, which Mr Tharoor had supported on the basis that it would establish its team in his home state of Kerala. But Mr Modi revealed that Sunanda Pushkar, a friend of Mr Tharoor’s and a modestly successful marketing professional, had been allotted a valuable stake in the team against future work for it. Despite Ms Pushkar declaring she would forgo her stake and Mr Tharoor denying any wrongdoing, he was asked to quit by India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh. On April 26th the lower house of India’s parliament was briefly adjourned amid opposition parties’ protests over various scandals, including that of the “Indian Paisa League”, as they have renamed the IPL, using the Hindi word for money. The government, the BCCI and the owners of expensive IPL teams and television rights no doubt want to put all this behind them. Fans, meanwhile, are getting extra entertainment free of charge. BRASH, glitzy and growing like greased lightning, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a powerful emblem of the emerging India. An ultra-commercial cricket tournament, which has brought foreign stars to India on huge wages and is due to complete its third annual season on April 25th, it has found myriad ways to make money out of a venerable game. Roared on by millions in India—and available on television, YouTube and mobile phones—the IPL has been valued at over $4 billion. Last month two new IPL teams were sold at auction for a total of $703m (32 billion rupees). But there is a downside, which a row over that auction has brought sensationally to light. Recent allegations of corporate sleaze and suspicions of tax-dodging by well-connected businessmen and politicians make the IPL sound more representative of India’s economic rise than its cheerleaders would like. Its boss, Lalit Modi, one of the world’s most powerful and charismatic sports administrators, could lose his job in the current furore—many expect him to be forced out at a meeting of Indian’s cricket board, the BCCI, on April 26th. A minister, Shashi Tharoor, has already lost his. Indian newspapers have aired separate rumours of illegal betting in the league. What’s going on? It started with a Twitter tweet from Mr Modi, in which he revealed the identities behind Rendezvous Sports World, a franchise that successfully bid $333m last month to form an IPL team in the Keralan city of Kochi. They included Sunanda Pushkar, a Dubai-based friend of Mr Tharoor. Despite having a relatively modest background in marketing, she had been awarded a 4.75% stake in the team—worth $16m—against her future work for it. Mr Modi also claimed that Mr Tharoor, a Keralan and self- described “mentor” to Rendezvous Sports, had asked him not to reveal Ms Pushkar’s name. Related topics Asia India South Asia Sport Cricket Mr Tharoor denies this, and says he has done nothing wrong. He and his staff have levelled various allegations against Mr Modi: including a claim that he petitioned the junior foreign minister to block a visa application on behalf of Gabriella Demetriades, a South African model and erstwhile friend of the IPL chief. The spokesman of Rendezvous Sports, Shailendra Gaikwad, who has reportedly since quit, said Mr Modi had offered its members $50m to withdraw their winning bid. Mr Modi offered no comment on the first allegation and denied the second. An investigation into “all aspects” of the IPL At the request of Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, Mr Tharoor resigned on April 18th—despite Ms Pushkar having said she would forgo her stake in the Kochi-based team. The next day Pranab Mukherjee, the finance minister, announced that an investigation had been launched into “all aspects of IPL including its source of funding, from where the funds were obtained, how it has been invested.” The investigation seems to have begun last September, with an inquiry by the finance ministry into the ownership of the Rajasthan Royals team. This was launched in response to an application by the team for approval of a $5.8m foreign investment in it. The probe established that the Royals are owned by a company based in Mauritius, in turn owned by companies based in the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. The ministry did not approve the proposed investment. The Royals are one of three teams in which relatives of Mr Modi are alleged to have stakes. One of these, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), denies the allegation; and Mr Modi denies having any conflicts of interest. On April 16th inspectors descended on the offices of the IPL and BCCI in Mumbai and requested all ten IPL teams—whose owners include some of India’s most famous industrialists and film stars—to provide details of their ownership. Tax officials searched offices belonging to four teams, including the Knight Riders, on April 21st. Akhilendu Jadhav, a senior tax official, told reporters: “We have some incriminating documents related to IPL and KKR.” On April 22nd the inspectors questioned Mr Modi himself. If he is forced out, it would be remarkable. Mr Modi has powerful allies, including Vijay Mallya, a brewing tycoon, whose UB Group owns the Bangalore-based team, and Sharad Pawar, India’s agriculture minister, an ally of Mr Singh’s Congress party and president-elect of the International Cricket Council, the game’s world governing body. Yet the government is eager to put an end to a scandal that has already set back important government business—perhaps including a bill to approve the budget, expected in Parliament on April 27th—and risks tarnishing India’s name abroad. Then again, even if Mr Modi’s coiffured head rolls, the scandal may go on. It is easily one of the biggest stories in India this year—much more entertaining, the game’s cognoscenti agree, than the IPL’s knockabout sort of cricket. Shashi Tharoor, who quit this week as India's junior foreign minister after a damaging cricket team ownership scandal, said Tuesday that he had stepped down with a "clear conscience". "My conscience is clear and I know I have done nothing improper or unethical let alone illegal," he told the country's parliament. "Nonetheless, in view of the ongoing political controversy I have no desire to be an embarrassment to the government." Tharoor, a former UN diplomat who served for barely a year in the government, quit after revelations that his girlfriend had been given a free stake in a new Indian Premier League cricket franchise. Tharoor helped put together the consortium that bought the team in the southern state of Kerala, which he represents in parliament, and the opposition said the stake was a kickback for his "services". In his comments to parliament, Tharoor recalled his three-decade career at the United Nations that was "unblemished by the slightest taint of financial irregularity". He had "requested the prime minister to have these charges against me thoroughly investigated", he said. Tharoor's exit marked a dramatic fall from grace for the former UN communications chief, who swapped international diplomacy in New York for the rough and tumble of Indian politics last year. The first-time member of parliament, who joined the Congress party in 2008, has promised to continue his career in Indian politics, concentrating on his parliamentary constituency of Thiruvananthapuram. Firstly the IPL is a great intiative and has the power and influence to help economies that were affected by the economic meltdown in 2008. It is only respectable and admirable that atleast one politician like Dr.Tharoor has shown interest in motivating and helping one more state (Kerala) to be part of a global event. None of the politicians and/or political parties deserve the right or not eligble to accuse Dr.Tharoor of any wrong doing. IPL chairman Lalit Modi had drawn up ambitious plans to make moolah from his ongoing tiff with Minister of state for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor. Sources close to Modi have told India’s number one blog Humor Unplugged that there was more to the whole episode than what appeared in the mainstream media and that Modi was determined to milk the whole episode for its monetary worth. This was before the IT sleuths moved in and the fight took political overtones, forcing Modi to abandon his plans. Just as the Indian Premier League sought to wrap all the excitement of long-playing cricket into a shorter version of India’s most popular sport, Twitter has given Indians the chance to abbreviate their own blog posts/emails/phone calls/letters into 140-character summaries and observations on the battle royal between @lalitkmodi, the IPL’s commissioner, and @shashitharoor, India’s former junior minister of external affairs. In some ways, it even bests the #IPL format by adding a generous mix of politics into the religion that is cricket in India. Since the main action is now no longer confined to 20 overs a side and on the cricket pitch, we bring you some snippets from the more exciting world of hash tags and retweets around #IPL, #lalitkmodi, #shahsitharoor, #WTF. If you want to get more involved in the action yourself, retweet this post from @wsjindia to truly be a part of the #IPL family. @shahsitharoor did not tweet his address to parliament today. He went beyond, much beyond the 140 characters to make his case for a comeback. “My conscience is clear and I know that I have done nothing improper or unethical let alone illegal,” Tharoor told his fellow legislators. @lalitkmodi counted his 140 to say “Thanks @thevijaymallya for the support….. truly appreciate your gesture.” [Kingfisher supremo Vijay Mallya came to Modi’s defense in an NDTV interview] @thevijaymallya: IPL divided by politics-united by kingfisher ! Love it. Thanks! @TheBharad: Fedup of your job? #Twitter can help. For more details contact #Tharoor or#Lalit Modi @rajantina: @fakingnews Modi confesses that all Indians are my brothers and sisters. Coincidence that they turn out to be IPL stakeholders also! @chetan_bhagat: IPL already had cricket plus Bollywood, now politics too. What else could Indians want? India’s biggest reality show. [In the latest turn, Modi has appeared on TV and said there is no chance of his resigning] @BDUTT: This IPL scam is like an onion: you can peel layer after layer and be stunned by the masala. But eventually it makes you cry. @jojobrutus: Shashi tharoor to lalit modi-you r such a Twit. LM- U r Twitter. ST- U r Twittest. @eyepeeyell: Tharoor tweets abt external affairs. Modi tweets abt internal affairs. Modi accuses Tharoor of having an affair. Tharoor says-”not fair”. @pragmatic_d: BJP says Truth has won. Hey, I missed the news where Lalit Modi changed his name to truth. @ZarirKarbhari: That will be the icing on the cake LOL ! RT @MonideepaNDTV: Waiting for Jagmohan Dalmiya to step into the IPL battle…Will he? Won’t he ? @TMVRaghav: the truth is Modi runs IPL like his family property – and tharoor is tangled his political career with the “twits” of cricket @preetnidhi: so lets see – #shashitharoor #tharoor cant involve himself in #IPL because he’s a MoS but its ok for #sharadpawar to run #BCCI? #WTF With the public showdown between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor over the Kochi team’s stake-holding structure snowballing into a major controversy With the public showdown between Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor over the Kochi team’s stake-holding structure snowballing into a major controversy The BCCI has decided to convene a meeting of the IPL Governing Council within 10 days to discuss and take a decision on the episode. A day after Modi’s controversial tweets virtually opened a can of worms on the Kochi franchise of the IPL, the BCCI spokesman Rajiv Shukla said the cricket board viewed the matter seriously. “BCCI president has decided to convene an IPL Governing Council meeting within 10 days to discuss all the issues and take a decision,” Shukla told reporters after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence. Shukla, who maintained that her meeting with Sonia Gandhi had nothing to do with the Tharoor issue, said, “Whatever allegations have been made from both the sides, all those issues will be deliberated upon at the meeting of the Governing Council. “I don’t want to make a comment or any observation on what one has said against the other. All I was trying to suggest that all these issues will be discussed in the meeting convened by the BCCI president,” he said. Asked whether he had a discussion with Sonia Gandhi on Tharoor’s role in the IPL Kochi team, Shukla said, “I had no discussion with Sonia Gandhi on this issue. It was a regular meeting with the AICC president.” Whether the BCCI took the public spat between IPL commissioner Modi and Minister of State for External Affairs Tharoor seriously, Shukla said, “BCCI president understands the urgency of the issue, that’s why he has convened the meeting.” Modi had on Sunday disclosed the names of the free equity holders in the little known Rendezvous Sports World (RSW) which coughed up approximately Rs1533 crore to bag the Kochi franchise, a move which put Tharoor in a spot of bother as Sunanda Pushkar, a lady reportedly close to the minister, figured in the list. Miffed by the disclosure, RSW threatened to send a legal notice to Modi and accused the IPL Commissioner of breaking the confidentiality terms. The Kochi franchise has also complained to BCCI president Shashank Manohar about Modi’s indiscretion. Modi hinted there was pressure on him not to reveal the details of who all owns Rendezvous. “I was told not to get into who owns Rendezvous, specially Sunanda Pushkar. Why?” said Modi. “You had mentioned that we should ignore who this owner is but our condition requires us to authenticate who they are. What I have put on Twitter is in no way breach of confidentiality as who the shareholders are we have always provided in the past and it is not a matter to hide. Further, it is the Kochi franchisee who has a lot to hide and as such have lied about who are the actual owners of the shares,” Modi added. Tharoor had all along denied having a stake in the Kochi franchise, saying he played merely a facilitator’s role. In a lengthy rejoinder today, Tharoor denied calling Modi and requesting him not to disclose details of the RSW stakeholders. Earlier report: Union minister Shashi Tharoor, locked in a fresh controversy around the Kochi IPL team which he helped set up, on Monday hit back at IPL boss Lalit Modi alleging he had made attempts to pressure the winning consortium to abandon their bid for the Kerala outfit. Tharoor also denied that he had told Modi not to ask details about owners of the consortium led by Rendezvous that bought the new franchisee. In a statement, the minister of state for external affairs trained his guns on the powerful cricket board official alleging that various attempts were made by Modi and others to pressure the members of the consortium to abandon their bid in favour of another city in a different state. According to reports, Ahmedabad was being mentioned as the other city. “I deny Mr Lalit Modi’s allegation that I called him during his meeting with investors in the Kochi consortium in Bangalore on Saturday night in order to press him not to question the composition of the consortium,” Tharoor said. Voicing his displeasure at the turn of events which saw him pitted against Lalit Modi, Tharoor also tweeted, “I have had enough.” “Rendezvous includes a number of people including many I have never met, and Sunanda Pushkar, whom I know well,” he said. Tharoor is reportedly planning to marry Sunanda. Tharoor said he was issuing the statement in a personal capacity to respond to the allegations made against him personally. He said Rendezvous bid successfully in an open and transparent process. “Their unexpected success upset the plans of a lot of powerful people, who had wanted the franchise to go elsewhere,” he added. “Mr Modi raised assorted objections to the bid documents but finally had no choice but to approve them, “ he said. Tharoor alleged that Modi’s extraordinary breach of all propriety in publicly raising issues relating to the composition of the consortium and himself personally is clearly an attempt to discredit the team and create reasons to disqualify it so that the franchise can be awarded elsewhere. The minister also emphatically said he did not intend to benefit in any way financially from his association with the Kochi team now or at a later stage. “My role in mentoring the consortium included several conversations with Mr Lalit Modi, who guided us through the process and presented himself as a trusted friend,” he said. Tharoor said contemptible efforts have been made to drag in matters of personal life which “I do not intend to dignify by commenting on them.” The minister said he called Modi to ask why he was further delaying the approval of the franchise when all the legal requirements had been fulfilled. NEW DELHI India`s junior foreign minister has denied wrongdoing in a brewing Indian Premier League cricket scandal. Shashi Tharoor said in a statement in the Indian Parliament on Friday that he had not benefited from his association with the winning bidders for a new club to be based in the southern city of Kochi in next year`s edition of the lucrative Twenty20 IPL. Tharoor has been accused of receiving a hidden stake in the team. Meanwhile, IPL chief Lalit Modi has been accused of trying to derail the Kochi group so another group of bidders can take its place. “I have not benefited, and do not intend to benefit, in any way financial from my association with the team now or at a later stage,” Tharoor said his statement in the Parliament. Kochi was one of two successful bidders to expand the immensely successful IPL to 10 city-based teams from next year. Kochi`s franchise was the second highest among bid tenders invited by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which sanctions the IPL, last month. Tharoor was dragged into a public spat when Modi revealed details of the Kochi franchise ownership via his Twitter account, saying a friend of Tharoor had been given equity without paying for it. “The notion that somebody is some sort of `proxy` for me is frankly insulting to me and to the professionalism and business ethics of the investors and their associates, particularly since I could not have any role in influencing the final outcome of a sealed bidding process,” Tharoor said. In the background of the public debate, income tax officials on Thursday began probing the accounts of the BCCI and the IPL. Four income tax investigators visited the cricket board and IPL offices at Mumbai`s Wankhede Stadium. “It is only an inquiry, not a raid,” said Modi, promising cooperation to the tax officials. The Indian cricket board is the richest cricket organization in the world. It enjoys exemption from paying income tax, like other sports bodies in India. In recent years the tax department has sought to take away the exemption. Lalit Modi and the IPL Finances Saga The IPL is worth over £2 billion since it started three years ago. Now it's chief Lalit Modi is in trouble over a row between ex-minister Shashi Tharoor and a major probe by the Indian Tax Department into the finance of the IPL. By Baldev Sahota • April 22, 2010 "No wrongdoer will be spared." L alit Modi the chief of the IPL is under major threat of being removed from his position. This is further to conflicting allegations and denials of corruption, money laundering, illegal betting, match fixing (in IPL 2) and the improper award of franchises for new teams. http://www.desiblitz.com/?p=11864&preview=true Lalit Modi got embroiled in a row with Junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor regarding the sale of a new IPL team franchise, Kochi, which will join the IPL in 2011. Kochi was sold to Rendezvous Sports World Limited for $333m at auction. Modi not being happy about the purchase leaked names of Kochi shareholders along with their stakes on the social media site, Twitter on Sunday, 18th April 2010. Tharoor said that Lalit Modi had tried to persuade the owners of Kochi to drop their bid in favour of another city. Amongst the names leaked was Sunanda Pushkar, a Dubai-based businesswoman, who is a close friend of Mr Tharoor. Mr Modi wrote the messages on Twitter because he claimed, “lot of you [are] asking shareholders and events surrounding the Kochi team.” But he did not go into any further detail. Tharoor in return accused Modi of an extraordinary breach of all propriety regarding the consortium buying Kochi. In a statement, he said, that Modi was trying to “discredit the team and create reasons to disqualify it so that the franchise can be awarded elsewhere.” Modi subsequently told media officials that Tharoor contacted him and did not want him to publish any names. Tharoor denied the claim and said that he has only acted as a mentor and not paid or received even a rupee for the Kochi team, and that Modi was acting on behlaf of a rival bidder for the team. The row gained momentum and attracted involvement from the Indian government. Tharoor was forced to resign as foreign affairs minister on the Sunday night. In parliament, Tharoor, a former Undersecretary at the United Nations, called for an investigation to clear his name. On Monday, 20th April 2010, the Indian government launched a multi-agency investigation into “the functioning of the IPL.” Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister said, “No wrongdoer will be spared.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to explain the Lalit Modi-IPL controversy and the board’s general-secretary Rajiv Shukla is reportedly briefing the leader on the case. J & K politician and IPL working committee member Farooq Abdullah has said that he will not be siding with Modi or anyone found guilty. He said, “If he (Lalit Modi) has done something wrong, he should go but we can’t hold him guilty without hearing his side of the story.” The Modi and Tharoor scandal has turned into a major income tax investigation. Over 50 Income Tax (IT) officials raided the premises of Multi Screen Media Sports (formerly part of Sony Entertainment Television), World Sport Group (WSG) and Pat Magnarella Management (PMM) in Bandra, Khar and Malad suburb of north-west Mumbai. All of which are closely connected to the cash rich IPL, led by Lalit Modi. Modi has been questioned by the officials on the financial affairs at his headquarters. In Kolkata, a seven-member team of tax officials surveyed the offices of Bollywood star Sharukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Cricket Association of Bengal. Similar searches took place at the offices of the Red Chillies Entertainment who own KKR at the Eden gardens, and then on Gameplan, a sports management group which looks after KKR’s affairs on Shakespeare Sarani. In Chennai, tax officials surveyed the office of Chennai Super Kings owned by India Cements. BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan is the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements. The offices of Deccan Chargers and Punjab Kings XI and also on companies handling the broadcast rights of the £2.7 billion strong IPL are also under scrutiny. The Income Tax authorities are probing into the alleged financial irregularities in the Indian Premier League surveying offices and looking into documents in tandem with the Enforcement Directorate(ED) investigating the routing of funds from tax havens into the three-year-old league. However, amongst all the negative vibes against Modi, team owners are giving full and unconditional support. Vijay Mallya, Shilpa Shetty, Shahrukh Khan and other team-owners of the Indian Premier League said that his IT issues were a government problem and as far as his management of the IPL was concerned, he was the best man for the job. Shilpa said, “If there is something murky happening behind the scenes, I am unaware about it and in that case, let law take its own course. However, people should not jump to conclusions. Till you are not proven guilty, you are not guilty.” She added, “We must not forget that it was Lalit who made IPL successful in the overseas market. We must give him that credit. It is all because of his effort that IPL has become successful across the world.” Shilpa’s statement comes further to recent media reports of an Income Tax department probe revealing that Modi holds a silent stake in three IPL teams – the Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. The BCCI is not happy with Modi leaking the franchisee names via Twitter. Shashank Manohar from the BCCI Governing Council has said that the original contract for the initial eight teams was signed in January 2008 and no names were released. So Modi doing it in the case of Kochi presents a breach of confidentiality, which has legal implications against the board. The action on the field has also been marred by two small bomb blasts outside Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday and one diffusion on Sunday, forcing the semi-finals to be moved to Mumbai. The games will be played under high police security. “We have taken all precautions and every single spectator will be frisked before entering the stadium,” said Mumbai police chief AN Roy. The huge success of the IPL has now taken a dramatic financial twist laced with scandal off the field, and its chief is now on the brink of being axed. A meeting of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Governing Council is expected to serve a charge-sheet to Lalit Modi and if his replies are unsatisfactory he will be no longer running the IPL.