India Insight

IPL Kochi on its way out?

A policeman stands guard at one of the entrances to a cricket stadium during a match in the IPL tournament in Kolkata April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal/Files
It’s intriguing arithmetic. After adding two new franchises to its stable, the Indian Premier League now runs the serious risk of going into its fourth edition with seven cricket teams, one less than the original eight.

In that March 21 news conference in Chennai, Lalit Modi, still one month away from a dramatic dumping, was doing what he does best — reeling off mindboggling numbers.

Modi welcomed Pune and Kochi on board and waxed eloquent on how recession-proof the cash-awash league was.

Seven eventful months and Modi is now hounded by the anti-corruption agency while IPL is grappling with a rumbling ownership row which already has led to the ouster of two teams — Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.

Kochi may just become the third.

According to media reports, the consortium which paid $333.33 million to own the 10th IPL team is a divided house and unlikely to meet BCCI’s deadline of forming a joint venture company by Thursday.

Back to the Lalit Modi saga

Lalit ModiIn India, a thin line separates bravado from infamy. In a country that swears by its Bollywood potboilers, it does not take long to turn a one-time hero into a villain.

And the perfect example is Lalit Modi — once head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league, he was first removed from his post after a tax scandal and later booted out of the cash-rich Indian cricket board.

Media reports on Thursday say the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a ‘blue alert’ against Modi, after he failed to make himself available for interrogation in the corruption allegations.

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