New Delhi, Feb 7: Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi today claimed that the auction for the 2009 edition of the cash-rich T20 tournament was “rigged” in favour of Chennai Super Kings whose owner, N Srinivasan, is now the president of the Indian Cricket Board.
Srinivasan, however, rubbished Modi's claims by stating that there is “absolutely no substance or truth” in what he is saying.
Modi, who was the IPL chief at the time, has alleged that the rules were tweaked to allow former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to remain with Chennai.
“Flintoff auction was rigged. I made it clear that time. That onus was on me and as chairman I should have not allowed that to happen then. I was arm-twisted to allow Andrew Flintoff to go to Chennai Super Kings.
“I'm to blame for that. It's a fact. Similar problem happened with the Pakistani players. Arm-twisting happened by senior BCCI officials that nobody should pick them,” Modi told a TV news channel today.
Srinivasan, who was the BCCI secretary at the time, said it was surprising that Modi was making these allegations after three years.
“I haven't watched the television programme where he has said all this. All I can say is that there is absolutely no substance or truth in what he is saying. If he is talking about 2009 why is he saying all this in 2012,” Srinivasan told PTI.
Modi's allegations come close on the heels of Sahara India announcing its decision to pull out of its sponsorship of the Indian team and ownership of the Pune Warriors IPL franchise.
“Subroto (Roy, Sahara Group chief) is right when he says there is no level playing field. Over past few seasons we have seen rules being changed to benefit one team or the other. The IPL was built on the premises that there should be a level playing field.
“That's why we had auction, the capping - the maximum money one can pay and there should be no side trading. But over the years the auction rules have changed and it's to the detriment of some teams,” Modi said.