18 June 2024 last updated at 22:27 GMT
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By Lalit K Modi


Meet N Srinivasan: The most corrupt BCCI President ever

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Lalit Modi on CNBC: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

It’s the burning desire to win all the time. For them destiny is not a matter of chance it's matter of choice.

Check out the 8-part documentary that focused on five titans of American industry “The Men Who Built America” and you will see how pioneers built their businesses. When the titans of the industry played by the rules, they were stuck. But when they made their own rules, they moved forward very quickly.

Innovation is a constant. It needs to be constant. A single innovation that does not generate newer ones is destined to fail (Think, for instance, of Apple -- when it came up first with the Mac, it was innovative -- but it led nowhere, and Apple faded into obscurity. When it returned, with the iPod, that led to a stream of other innovations -- the Air, the iPhone and iPad, for instance -- and the company took off like a rocket).

Constant innovation thus is the only way forward, for a company or even a country.

The IPL in my time was an example of this. We innovated, learnt, and innovated again, rapidly. And yes, I created the rules because it was my vision that built the IPL from nothing; where others at the time saw the possibility of failure, I was the one who dreamt of success, and worked towards it.

What characterized the IPL and defined its success was the ability to look into the future, to see its gains and pitfalls, and to then plan and execute it.

The IPL became my identity -- and when the brand you create becomes your face, it loads greater responsibility on you. I identified issues in advance and kept moving ahead. Where others saw uncertainty, I saw opportunity. I understood the playing field, identified the potential trip-wires, and each season, built on the success of the previous one.

Did I take risks? Yes I did. Innovators need to take risks; when you chase a dream, you have to think big.

Was I ruthless? Yes. Ruthless is good. Our forefathers were ruthless -- they needed to be, in order to survive, to succeed, to thrive.

- BBC HARDtalk Interview  AudioVideo

-Media Release: Srinivasan to face criminal charges

- Lalit Modi interview with @Athersmike in the London Times 

But vision and innovation require backing -- the backing of the fans, which I got in abundance, but also the backing of the hierarchy. Innovators are given freedom (by the boards, shareholders, whoever) to to move rapidly, to build something big. It is because of this freedom that they are able to succeed where others fail; it is also equally a facet of corporations that when they succeed beyond the imagination, and those who ride on the coat-tails of the innovator get greedy, they then blame the very innovations, the risks, the decisions, that produced success in the first place.

The problem is not with the innovator, or the decisions he took, but with the fact that post-facto criticism is motivated by personal greed.

That is what is happening now. Those who in the early days were content to stand by and let me run all the risks and face the possibility of failure are now, in the wake of the IPL's success, desirous of cashing in. They are like the army that, after they have been led to victory by the general, is intent on pillage and plunder.

And so they have trumped up excuses, and they have "banned" me -- a body riddled with constitutional violations, taking an unconstitutional decision.

But I am a bad enemy to make, because I am a winner. You don't want to take such extreme steps with me -- rather, you want to negotiate with me, because you need to be able to walk away.

The coming days and weeks and months will show just why this step was ill-judged, ill-advised.

Do I care about a life ban - really couldn't care less. As they can't ever take away what I created. They can destroy it. But I will keep at them for sure.

For a start, find below my point by point rebuttal of the various allegations the BCCI has made against me in its disciplinary committee:



1. The BCCI Disciplinary Committee recently gave its report to BCCI . The Committee indicted me on all grounds on which they could lay even fanciful claim. On allegations where their wildest fancies found no basis to hold me guilty , they grudgingly exonerated me.

2. That the  Disciplinary Committee was biased was never in doubt . Arun Jaitley , the Chairman of the Committee was in fact a complainant to the BCCI on behalf of Kochi franchisee as disclosed from minutes of IPL Governing Council  meeting dated 25.6.2010 (Enclosure 1) held after my suspension . Two major allegations had emanated out of Kochi controversy - namely bid rigging of ITT  for two new franchisees and arm twisting of Kochi franchisee. Kochi which comprised of influential businessmen had powerful political backing from leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Arun Jaitley.  With Arun Jaitley acting as mouth piece of Kochi franchisee my indictment by him on these two allegations of arm twisting and bid rigging was not unexpected . But the reasons given for such indictment were wholly fallacious and farcical.

3. Arun Jaitley while holding position as a member of the Disciplinary Committee ought to have fairly disclosed the minutes of IPL  Governing Council  meeting dated 25.6.2010 (he knew them all along himself being member of the  Governing Council ) and his interest in the Kochi franchisee. Not only did he not  do so , he actively suppressed those minutes and as Chairman of Disciplinary Committee ruled that they cannot be provided to me .

4. When you have complainant himself sitting as a Judge what justice and fairness do you expect? In fact the enquiry was therefore a fraud right from inception. When my legal team discovered this fraud they approached the civil court in Delhi where the court is hearing the matter on a day to day basis.


5. When Arun Jaitley realised that the matter of his suppression of minutes has reached the court, he tried to hurriedly conclude the proceedings .

6. While BCCI witnesses were examined from 26.9.2010 till 14.5.2012 ( a period of 20 months)  and were accommodated for reasons of purely personal convenience like playing golf , weekends , holidays and their other pre-occupations   all duly documented in various order sheets of the Committee , my defence started on 3.3.2013 and was hurriedly concluded 22.4.2013  (a period of 49 days) .

7. The  witnesses  I wanted to examine in my defence who were amongst others- BCCI members were not summoned  and those in BCCI  who wanted to present true picture like  Mr I.S Bindra  were dissuaded from attending on the ground that appearing for me would tantamount to appearing against BCCI .

8. What more even my witness statement sent on 22.4.2013 (Enclosure 2) was not taken on record. And while on one hand my witness statement was not taken on record on the other hand the Committee held that I had not produced any evidence.

9. Even no time was granted to my lawyers to  argue the case. For  11 allegations  levelled against me and total record running into  20,000 pages including recorded evidence running in 2000 pages   the total time given to argue was 3 hours- i,e 16 minutes per allegation and my lawyers could only argue first three allegations in the allotted time  but were not allowed any opportunity to argue balance allegations. Such was the pressing hurry shown by Jaitley led committee.


10. In BCCI's internal politics Arun Jaitley despite growing clamour against N.Srinivasan has emerged as his strongest supporter. One of my principal defence was that enquiry against me was vitiated on account of malafide as I had opposed Srinivsan's conflict of interest being Team owner and Administrator.  However Jaitley did not allow any question to be put in respect of Srinivasan's conflict of interest and virtually skirted  the issue of Srinivasan's conflict of interest in his report .

11. The Enquiry Report is also ante-dated. While Mr Jaitley purports to have signed  the enquiry report on 10.6.2013  it was sent to BCCI on 9.7.2013 after a period of 30 days . There could not have been a delay of 30 days in sending the report. And if sending the report could have waited for a month , what was the pressing hurry of closing my defence - without even taking my witness statement on record.


(a) Proxy Stake in Jaipur , Mohali and Kolkatta franchisees

(b) Failure to disclose relationship with Mr Suresh Chellaram, Mr Gaurav Burman and Mr Mohit Burman.

(c) Wrongful award of franchisee to Rajasthan Royals 

12. Even the wholly biased committee was forced to hold on the basis of material on record that I had no proxy stake in any of the franchisees.  It also found that there was nothing hidden or sinister in Mr Suresh Chellaram, Mr Gaurav Burman and Mr Mohit Burman taking stakes in franchisees and that there was no irregularity on my part in BCCI awarding the franchisee to Rajasthan Royals.

(d) Bid Rigging

13. The charge against me was that I had inserted two conditions in the tender document  issued in year 2010 for two new franchisees  which were stated to be onerous. These conditions were -

(i) Bidder to have Net Worth of USD 1 billion

(ii) Bidder to give Bank Guarantee of full bid amount.

14. These conditions were inserted after specific approval of Mr Shashank Manohar the then President . Further these conditions were introduced to safeguard the interest of BCCI. The IPL model prepared prior to tender showed that a franchisee entering at a bid value of USD 300 million would become cash positive only in the 8th year  (Copy of model is Enclosure 3).

15. If a franchisee went bust-  it would have destroyed the format of the game as well as would have been a setback for brand image and brand value of IPL. Therefore it was necessary that the bidder be an entity of considerable net worth who could sustain losses for first 8 years. A survey was got done from Ambit who stated that 156 Indian Companies were eligible on USD 1 billion criterion . And the bid permitted not only Indian but also foreign entities to participate as also permitted consortiums to participate. There was thus no intention to limit competition but only to safegaurd interest of IPL.

16. The fact that Kochi franchisee defaulted in paying even the Bank guarantee to the BCCI and was terminated and even Sahara has said NO to further participation in IPL shows that only cash rich entities could have had the stomach to sustain  the initial  losses and could have  continued in long term. The termination/ pulling out of these two franchisees has taken a toll on the brand value of IPL.

17. The other condition of Bank Guarantee of full bid amount was also in the interest of BCCI. The new tender reduced the Bank Guarantee to 10 percent of bid amount. The tender was won by Sahara which made a  bid for Pune at USD 370 million bid and  by Rendezvous  which had  made the bid for Kochi at USD 333.33 million .

18. If BCCI was fully protected as per initial tender it would not have been at any loss even if these bidders were terminated. But  under the revised tender total loss to BCCI because of reduced bank guarantee on account of Sahara is USD 333 million  and on account of Kochi is USD 300 million thus totalling USD 633   million or INR 3798 Crores. Thus  these conditions were  clearly put to safeguard the interest of BCCI.

(e) Arm Twisting of Kochi Franchisee

19. Kochi franchisee carried a hidden sweat equity stake of 25 percent. In interest of transparency when I sought to enquire the stake holders of this sweat equity , I was stopped by none other that Shashi Tharoor  who rang me up in middle of  IPL meeting . This was duly  minuted in IPL meeting dated 11.4.2010 (Enclosure 4).

20. When the name of Sunanda Pushkar was put in public domain by me it led Kochi franchisee to send a complaint dated 11.4.2010 full of vengeance against me to President  BCCI (Enclosure 5). However no allegation of arm twisting was made.

21. Surprisingly when pressure mounted on Shashi Tharoor to resign from Union Government another mail after 5 days , which was clearly an afterthought , was sent by Kochi franchisee on 16.4.2010 (Enclosure 6) that they had been arm twisted. The same should have been disregarded at the outset.

22. However finding of guilt by committee on this count is not surprising considering that Mr Jaitley the chief adjudicator was the voice of Kochi franchisee in the BCCI.

(f)  Media Rights

23. The BCCI Disciplinary Proceedings started with the charge that I had received multi million dollar kickbacks from WSG   when contract was awarded to Sony on 25th  March 2009 and these contracts were not approved by IPL Governing Council .

24. However these were not the  charges which were proved. Rather the Committee by a convoluted process displaced these charges with something entirely different.  The Disciplinary Committee did not have any courage to say that I received any kick back or benefit from WSG or otherwise or the agreements were not approved by IPL Governing Council.

25.  The fact was that WSG was the original successful bidder and  had in open and transparent bid won the IPL media rights for 10 years on a global basis . Through a series of events described succinctly in a Press Note issued by Sony itself on 23.4.2010 (Enclosure 7) , WSG relinquished  Indian subcontinent rights in favour of Sony. Sony in turn agreed to pay WSG INR 425 Crores over a period of 9 years as facilitation fee. I had nothing to do with the said transaction between two multi national companies.

26. The Committee dropping the original charges reframed entirely different charges on this issue namely-

(a) The agreement with WSG signed on 15.3.2009 was never intended to be performed . This charge was not found proved rather it was found to be genuine agreement intended to be performed by the committee.

(b) WSG in its agreement dated 15.3.2009 was to pay an installment of Rs 112.50 which it failed to pay to BCCI and I did not insist on the same. This charge though wrongly found proved ignores that WSG agreement was mutually terminated on 25.3.2009 to pave way for Sony agreement dated 25.3.2009  . Thus as  on 25.3.2009 WSG had no liability to pay  BCCI on this score. Prior thereto till 23.3.2009 the matter was being litigated by Sony before the Bombay High Court which had initially granted interim order staying BCCI decision to grant contract to WSG.  It was in these circumstances that no payment was made by WSG or insisted by BCCI.

(c) I had knowledge of facilitation service agreement  between WSG and Sony and had casted an obligation on BCCI to terminate Sony if it didnt pay WSG. Though this charge has been wrongly found proved  it ignores that the BCCI agreement containing this clause was approved  by Governing Council  of IPL and what's more even the then Secretary BCCI N. Srinivasan had given affidavit as early as on 11.4.2009  (Enclosure 8) in various High Court  in respect of the agreement containing the said clause. Nobody found anything unusual in this clause as it protected the interest of the original bidder i,e WSG.

27. In respect of the media rights  , in respect of the very agreements between Sony and WSG a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court in its order dated 23rd February 2011  in Appeal  No 30/2011  titled WSG V/s. BCCI (Enclosure 9) had occasion to make observations in para 25 to the effect that there was no prima facie basis to allege  any fraud. In fact the High Court found that contracts were in notice of members of the BCCI all throughout.

28. The evidences now available show that N. Srinivasan blackmailed Sony to terminate their agreement with WSG. (Attached as Enclosure 10  is the Minutes of Sony Meeting with Srinivasan  ). These minutes show that Srinivasan and key executives of Sony reached a collusive agreement to misrepresent facts , make false documents and create false evidence. Sony’s aim was to make commercial benefits from BCCI  while Srinivasan wanted Sony’s help to put false case against me .The minutes disclose that if Sony helped Srinivasan  he would make  BCCI agree to remove cross default by terminating WSG's agreement , ratify Sony agreement  to make it binding on the BCCI, support Sony  by going on affidavit in any proceedings initiated against Sony by WSG, give up right to commercially  exploit 150 Seconds FCT  ,terminate the agreement with Colors in which  Indian players from the IPL participating. If Sony did not play ball with BCCI it was threatened with termination of  its agreement on grounds of fraud, collusion, etc., as also a FIR against Sony .This has resulted in BCCI giving up or losing the following:

a) 150 Seconds advertising Inserts by BCCI on Global feed Value for IPL Season 4 to 10 :estimated loss -INR 1120 Crores

b)Reduction in No of Games to help Sony pay less to BCCI and peg up rates of ads resulted in Loss of revenues to BCCI: Loss to BCCI - INR 1255.44 Crores .

c) On account of termination of Colors- Loss to BCCI -INR 455 Crores .

d) Potential damages if WSG Litigation / arbitration is decided against BCCI

29. This shows that Srinivasan has in an attempt to wrongly frame me severely prejudiced BCCI's interests.

(g) Internet Rights

30. The Committee has found me guilty on this count even though the BCCI chose not to lead any evidence to prove this charge.

31. The charge was that IPL had given Internet rights to Global Cricket Ventures Mauritius . All agreements in this regard had been duly approved by BCCI General Body, the Finance Committee of BCCI as well as by IPL Governing Council.

32. Much after the agreement a private equity fund listed on Alternate investment Market of London Stock Exchange namely Elephant Capital acquired 50 percent stake in GCV. Mr Gaurav Burman had no stake / share in the said fund . He was merely an employee in the said fund. Elephant   Capital had made full disclosures regarding their investment in AIM and it was widely reported in media and was in public domain.

33. The charge was that there ought to have been a separate  disclosure by me. But this wholly ignored the position that the investment was not by him  but shareholders of the fund . The position of Mr Gaurav Burman was merely that of manager and he did not have any ownership / shareholding rights in either the fund or BCCI property.

(h) Twitter

34.  This allegation stems out of the fact that I had disclosed Sunanda Pushkar's hidden stake in a team .I was for total transparency while others in the BCCI were not. This fact is what has been held by the Committee to adversely affect the reputation of the Board and indict me.

35. Clearly quite against his public stand for transparency , Arun Jaitley has done all in his power to push rot in BCCI under the carpet. The lead taken by  him to conduct  hush hush enquiry in BCCI against Gurunath Maiyappan and giving clean chit in an opaque manner being a case in the point.

(i) Allegations relied upon by the BCCI 

36. One of the participants of the meeting dated 31.3.2010  Peter Griffiths was examined as BCCI witness by the Committee and he completely supported my stand but was ignored by the Committee. In fact Peter Griffiths was the only participant who was examined by the committee all other evidence was either hearsay or comprised unproved documents.

37. Committee relied upon some unadmitted and unproved documents tendered by BCCI on 30.3.2013 and 22.4.2103 ( date wrongly mentioned in committee report deliberately as 22.3.2013) without even taking them on record earlier or giving me an opportunity of cross examination. If BCCI evidence tendered on 22.4.2013 could be considered by the committee why not my evidence tendered on the same day?

(j) Bid rigging in respect of theatrical rights

38. The Committee did not find any evidence of bid rigging which was the original charge against me.

39. The Committee however changed the charge to suit itself and found a permission by me to assign the rights by ESD the successful bidder to an Indian entity controlled by it as bad. Such permission was given by me after approval of the BCCI President for the reason that ESD was a foreign bidder and could not get statutory permission to operate in time  on account of  delayed execution of contract by BCCI.

40. ESD continued to be fully liable even after the assignment and it was ESD which actually made all payments to BCCI. This fact was wholly ignored by the Committee. This was done to conveniently get rid of ESD which was being considered as a competitor by Sony.

(k) 150 seconds FCT.

41. IPL had the right to 150 seconds of promotional rights in Sony's telecast. To increase the revenue for all stakeholders I decided to commercially exploit these 150 seconds. Sony initially resisted but couldnt do anything as this promotional time belonged to IPL.

42. The Governing Council on the eve of IPL -3 permitted exploitation of these rights. This was an experiment as these seconds had to be found between the balls - Sony had absolute rights between overs and otherwise. There was no time to bring out tender.

43. Pioneer an agency of Kunal Das Gupta - Sony's ex CEO agreed to undertake this on behalf of BCCI at normal media selling rates / commission of 15 percent.

44. The experiment generated BCCI a revenue of above INR 30 Crores with less than half the time being exploited .The potential value of these rights till IPL Season 10 is in the region of  INR 1120 Crores . However  BCCI  stopped exploiting these rights to benefit Sony. This charge was framed to favour Sony as it did not want BCCI or its agent to sell inventory in competition with it .

45. The charge that rights were given without tender / agreement ignores the fact that this was an experiment to generate new revenue stream  and there was no time to bring out a tender  . Infact Pioneer did ad insertions and media selling on the cost of agency charges itself on behalf of BCCI on non exclusive basis.


46. The Disciplinary Committee report is a sham. It is the result of a mentality to hold me guilty even if there is no evidence and even if it means giving  reasons that defy logic and common sense. It is a reflection more on the working of the Committee - Arun Jaitley as a loyal ally to Srinivasan and   on the compromised position of other members of  the Committee rather than a  reflection on my working in the IPL.

Tweet by I S Bindra:

BCCI is as usual in fixing game...trying to fix Lalit Modi to cover up the exposure of 10,000 crores. Download



Follow my thoughts on the BCCI crisis through my Twitter account @lalitkmodi

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