Counties play down talk of breakaway Twenty20 league
County Cricket Executives have moved to quell speculation that they met IPL mogul Lalit Modi to discuss a potential English equivalent of the IPL.
The allegations surround ‘fact-finding’ missions undertaken by a number of senior figures in the English domestic scene in March.
English Cricket Board Chief, Giles Clarke, complained to his BCCI counterpart after discovering blueprints for a parallel English version of the IPL, whereby counties would bypass the ECB and work directly with Modi and the IPL franchises.
Yorkshire Chairman Colin Graves described the allegations as totally overblown.
“There were no secret proposals, no secret agenda, nothing underhand,” he told the Guardian. “Lalit Modi did not put a proposal on the table.”
Clarke however suggests in his email to Shashank Manohar that Modi planned to offer counties a staging fee of around $1.5 million for hosting the tournament.
The existing franchises would be offered the chance to buy a 50% stake in one of the counties, with the other 50% raised with a local partner. Counties stood to earn a guaranteed $3-5million payout from the deal.
Modi, who was suspended from the BCCI on April 26 following allegations franchise bid-rigging, has been issued with a ‘show-cause notice,’ by the BCCI. He has 15 days to respond.
Clarke claims in his email that Modi’s actions would be “detrimental to Indian cricket, English cricket and cricket at large.”
The charge sheet suggests that by bypassing cricket administrators, power in the game would shift to the franchises with the leading players potentially facing a club v country debate.
Modi is alleged to have said: “ODIs have reached a saturation point and though unlikely to disappear, cannot grow any further. Tests are almost redundant and only T20 has growth value.”
“This would practically mean just a handful of nations playing international cricket and their players spending the rest of their time playing the IPL and its UK version, while the smaller countries sit idle and don’t get to play any games.”