Indian parivar league…

Over the last few months I have been visiting and revisiting the IPL road show. Just as much I would like to think I am not affected by it as I barely see the matches, the fact that it is on my mind is indication enough that all of us are interested in this circus for more reason than one. It seems to have all the right ingredients of a masala flick. There are a few good men, skimpy clad women, sleaze, villains, rogues, rascals, black money, rope tricks,underworld nexus and finally a ball and a bat! Cricket is barely a part of the IPL and yet used deftly to woo nincompoops called the general public. No one has any idea who the real owners of the teams are, the consortiums that have been formed have been specially done so to get a stake in the teams and the ownership is not transparent. Last night I was rather tickled to watch a below average sounding and looking man claim he is part of the Rendevous group which has won the bid for the Kochi team.  This man could have passed off for a milk man, probably milking this cash cow called the IPL.For all we know, Sonia Gandhi may be the owner of Delhi baredevils,oops..I meant, daredevils and Deve Gowda could be a sleeping partner for Bangalore Royal Challengers. Lalit Modi’s driver,cook and gardener too may own some of the teams, therefore what choice do we have but to coin the IPL as the Indian parivar league.

Global Cricket Ventures (GCV), which has bagged digital and mobile rights for the IPL and the Champions Trophy until 2017, is linked to the son-in-law of IPL chairman Lalit Modi, Gaurav Burman, raising questions about the business interests of Modi’s relatives in IPL, now a Rs 15,000-crore commercial empire.
Gaurav, the brother of Mohit Burman of Dabur, a co-owner of Kings XI Punjab, is a director in Elephant Capital Invests, a company which has put $10 million in GCV, to own 50% equity in this Mauritius-based company. GCV, an online media and broadcast company, was set up only last year and within a few months snapped up various cricket related digital rights. The jewel in GCV’s portfolio is IPL for which it’s running its official website, disseminating online match information and putting up pictures, said sources in the Shashi Tharoor camp.

Gaurav Burman does not appear to be just another director of Elephant Capital an impression that Lalit Modi seeks to convey. When Elephant bought into GCV, the media release of November 19, 2009, mentioned only Burmans name as Elephants representative and gave his London phone number for further inquiries. “This investment gives Elephant Capital a stake in an exciting online and broadcast media business.We believe that with the continued success of T20 , the value of these rights will appreciate significantly.”
When contacted, Lalit Modi denied there was any conflict of interest. “The internet rights are with GCV,” he admitted. “But there is no direct link to prove that I have a vested interest in protecting my son-in-law’s interests. What can I do if my son-in-law is a director of a company?”

Apart from Gaurav and Mohit Burman, another Modi relative associated with the IPL is Suresh Chellaram, a Nigeria-based businessman who holds majority shares in Rajasthan Royals. Chellaram is Lalit Modi’s sister-in-laws husband. The Modi camp maintained that the involvement of these three Modi relatives in IPL was a coincidence. “They are all businessmen and they sensed a business opportunity in the IPL,” an associate of Modi said. Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the parent body said that while an agreement with GCV has indeed been reached, its key officials did not know that Modi’s son-in-law was a significant face behind GCV. On his part, Modi maintained that he had nothing to hide. “All IPL officials closely coordinate with the BCCI. I have nothing to hide,” he said.

Instinct also tells me that the D company is very much an integral part of this big tamasha called the IPL. It was quite hilarious to hear of the alleged “threat” via sms to Tharoor asking him to apologize to Modi. Wherever the underworld are involved match fixing is bound to flourish. What is the point rooting for your favorite team when results are predetermined? I will not be surprised even if the champion is also predetermined for the next ten years. With money one can make the dark horse come from behind and force his nose ahead.I recall attending a charity event in Melbourne three years back where the guest of honor was none other than Greg Chappell. I was the only Indian amidst a group of thirty odd cricket loving Australians. What comes naturally to the average Aussie besides drinking Fosters and grilling meat on the barbecue is to slam Indian cricket. Greg Chappell did exactly that and savored every minute of it. Yes, his speech did make my blood boil as he was his usual biased self,but there were bits and pieces of it which sounded quite incredulous. He went on to state how some of the players from the team would walk out of the dressing rooms in a certain manner. Some would wear their coolers on the head, some would wear it over their eyes, some would tip their caps,every gesture meant something, far more than what would meet the eye. It did leave me thinking.

Watching how the public are lapping up the IPL makes me feel very sorry for them.The last few days in Bangalore I have witnessed the usual loving sentiment being displayed for cricket, the sentiment spills on the roads of Bangalore. By the hundreds people are cramming up outside retail shops watching the cricket coverage on television sets displayed for sale. The fat MRF blimp moves like a drowsy whale, it hovers over the stadium and the shrieks and wails from the stadium can be heard a kilometer away. The white glow over the Chinnaswamy stadium can be spotted from a Kingfisher plane a few kilometres above that is ferrying more cheerleaders than its regular passengers from one city to another.My driver in Bangalore updates me in the mornings on the team’s standings, the local grocer has his two cents on Dravid’s performance, it never ends.The after party is the most happening event in the cities where matches are played. Deepika appears cosy with Sid Mallya, new alliances are forged, old partnerships are broken, changing loyalties are more common than wife swapping, every person who is associated with the IPL is laughing his / her way to the bank. People buy IPL teams for their wives and mistresses, a popular shopping pass time for the influential few.

In India what matters is who you know and not what you know. You could be the world’s biggest duffer but if you have the right surname or mix with the people who have the right surname, life is a bed of roses.The Tharoor – Modi controversy is an interesting one as it has now transformed itself into a full-blown war between the whose who of the big wig league. Latest news has it that it is now two Modis ( Lalit and Narender ) against the single,dashing Tharoor, somewhere garnished in between the raging testosterone war is a widow with a lot of oomph factor whose father the other day was seen hurling stones at an intrusive media. The BCCI has never been transparent about it’s revenues and also about the procedure involved in granting rights to Television companies. Money is milked using cricket as a farce. Every Tom is in this cat and mouse game called the IPL, a cheesy sleazy road show.

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29 Responses to “Indian parivar league…”

  1. Woooooooooo I am the first one to comment after a long time I think………

    We still exactly don’t know that how many dormant or active partners are yet to proclaim their share in the IPL teams.But all this feud must have affected the reputation of this league for sure………

    • Salman – Yes, I hope it has an affect. The public ( us ) are the gullible lot, always bravely taking all the rubbish hurled on our faces. About time the IPL drama is under control.

  2. Wow ! How amazing ! Lalit Modi,Burman,Chellaram – They all are so connected as ‘Family’ yet have no connection in this IPL business matter ! 🙂
    Either they are crazy or the one who believe them. Certainly ‘common man’ is is the crazy one in this whole matter who stupidly wasting time,money and energy supporting such circus in the name of ‘Sport’.
    Its not very shocking to know association of “D” company with IPL. Otherwise why & How else they are going to generate such a large amount of sum just for buying a Team !? OR All are loaded with Black Money and this is the best way to get ‘Clean’.
    Politicians,Businessmen,film stars & cricketers are faces can be seen on surface but behind those faces, there is a Dark governing Force which remains hidden most of the time.
    No one is Mr.Clean in Politics. So called Mr.Clean – Rajiv Gandhi tarnished his name in Bofors controversy. Clean chit from courts don’t prove them innocent in eyes of general public. However they claim to be ‘Politically Correct’!!!
    Its amazing that White Collar ‘Thugs’ are everywhere playing ppl and countries’ economies more dangerously though successfully. No one is bothered if they are called/considered Corrupt anymore. such Stigma is now considered as ‘One more Feather in one’s Hat’. How Pathetically funny is it!?

    • MonaLisa – The only guys not yet involved in this nonsense are godmen! i would not be surprised if Nityanand owns the Night Riders..lol. Re D Company, yes, they are an important link to this mess.

  3. The taxman finally visited BCCI – 60 years late !
    Though frankly nothing much will emerge and the tamasha will continue !!

    • Veekay – Yes, too late. BCCI would have got a tip off and the tax men will be a few crores richer in the next few hours. Nothing much will happen.

  4. Some more interesting skeletons from Modi’a cupboard

    That IPL commissioner Lalit Modi had a brush with the law as a student in the US has been widely reported. It’s said he was booked under a drug charge. Modi himself hasn’t quite denied it, saying those were indiscretions of youth and that he is a very different man today.

    But TOI discovered it wasn’t a drug charge against Modi — it was something else. Here are two reports of March and April 1985 in a local paper, Times-News, Hendersonville, North Carolina, that gives the real story.

    The first report appeared on March 1, 1985, headlined ‘Drug buyers robbed at gunpoint’.

    The report was filed by the Associated Press: Durham: Four Duke University students were arrested and a fifth was being sought in a bogus cocaine deal that left one student beaten after a group of would-be drug buyers was robbed at gunpoint of $10,000, law enforcement officers say.

    “There was a conspiracy to buy cocaine that was never there,” said Paul J Dumas Jr, Duke’s public safety director. “There was never any cocaine, and the guys who offered to sell it were in fact planing a robbery. And in fact they committed a robbery.”

    Duke and law enforcement sources told the News and Observer of Raleigh that a group of people, most of them Duke students, met Saturday in a Durham motel room where they planned to exchange one-half kilogramme of cocaine for $10,000.

    The buyer had brought the money to the motel, but the purported sellers had not brought any drugs. A man brandishing a shotgun then took the $10,000 and fled, the sources said.

    Durham District Attorney Ronald Stephens said the people planning to buy drugs concluded they had been set up for the robbery. They blamed a Duke student, who was beaten by several people Sunday night, he said.

    The injured student, fearing for his safety, turned himself into authorities on Monday night, officials said. Court records show the student suffered broken facial bones and leg injuries. He was treated at Duke University Hospital and released.

    Charged were:
    Alexander Van Dyne of Dix Hills, NY, a Duke sophomore. He was charged with armed robbery after turning himself into officials.

    John El-Masry of Waltham, Mass, a lineman on the Duke football team. He was arrested Wednesday and charged with assaulting Van Dyne with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injuries.

    Lalit Kumar Modi of New Delhi, India, a Duke sophomore. He was arrested Tuesday night on charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

    Alexander J McKinnon of Winston-Salem, A Duke junior. He turned himself into authorities Thursday afternoon and was charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine.

    Shepherd R Small of Los Angeles, the only defendant who is not a Duke student. He was being held in the Los Angeles County jail on a North Carolina warrant.

    The second report, appearing on April 2, 1985, was on Modi’s indictment:
    Durham: Three Duke University students and a Los Angeles man were indicted by a Durham County Superior Court grand jury on charges stemming from what police have described as a bogus cocaine deal.

    Police say a group of mostly Duke students met in a Durham motel February 23 to exchange a half kilogramme of cocaine for $10,000, but the buyers were robbed by the bogus sellers who didn’t bring any drugs.

    Durham County District Attorney Ronald Stephens said the grand jury on Monday indicted Duke sophomore Lalit Kumar Modi of New Delhi, India, on a charge of conspiracy to traffic more than 400 grams of cocaine.

    Modi and Duke football player John El-Masry were indicted on second-degree kidnapping, a misdemeanour charge of assault inflicting serious injury and conspiracy to kidnap, Stephens said.

    Duke sophomore Alexander Van Dyne of Dix Hills, New York, and Shepherd Small of Los Angeles, who isn’t a student, were indicted on armed robbery charges and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

  5. Looks like Modi is more in the hot seat than Tharoor. Tharoor is likely to get party support. I do not see much point in Modi presenting his facts in front of an IPL governing body which is anyway made up of equally corrupt individuals from the BCCI!

  6. When Sonia intervene whose side is going to get stronger!? Obviously Her Party man’s! Evidently So Tharoor won half the battle already.
    As such Modi has become an eye sore to many and he certainly is not an Angel. He looks more like Devil’s Advocate instead. So He has to take a fall eventually.

  7. MonaLisa – Anyone who wags their tail in front of Sonia will get a bone. Tharoor has no choice but to keep wagging his rather wet tail now!

  8. Shambhavi Says:

    Very well analyzed write up Sharmila.

  9. Shambhavi – Thanks for your comment.

  10. Shashishekhar M.Vyas Says:

    Sharmilaji,
    Very informative,equally very well written – boldly too! I must appreciate.

    Regards,

    S.M.Vyas

  11. Di….Amit uncle is gonna visit the same place as you did after a few days.If I am not wrong you too visited Langkawi a month back or two………there may not be much to think and get excited about in this,but just felt like and wrote to you…….

    • That is right Salman, been there and penned my thoughts on it. But, it was not recent , it was a couple of months back. Lovely place.

      • Di…..did you get those two mails that I sent about AB and that one about the Indian Hell.The latter was really funny and also verifiable seeing the level of corruption in the country…..

      • Salman – Thanks, I did. It was hilarious..:)

  12. What a shame! A convict and a felon Modi is holding a higher place in a Sports/cricket Association. Is India A Heaven for all deported criminal dimwits or what?
    Finally they crucified Tharoor and Modi is still holding the position in spite of his direct Involvement discovered in match fixing and betting by Income tax Department of India.

  13. with such a strong political alliance with Pawar & N.Modi, L.Modi’s exit doesn’t seem a piece of cake for opposition.

  14. Shailesh Says:

    I wish I could read the whole page…. Black background does not invite pleasant reading if you take my two cents.

    Regards

  15. Read your blog as a reference from Pritish Nandy on tweetworld. I loved the entire write up and last paragraph is mindboggling. That’s a perfect summary for any Indian who would want to come back to work here (like me). Unfortunately no surname or connections helping me now. But, I love being what I am.

    I will be a regular reader of your blog now. Thanks for providing such good content on internet.

  16. Great article…!! This tamasha continues anyways as great actors are involved..today modi-tharoor controversy tops d chart in the media… tomorrow its lest forgotten wen some other issue is brought up… !! Finally v d great losers try to demystify the ipl controversy ends up in disappointment.. really a sleazy show..!!

  17. Great article…!! This tamasha continues anyways as great actors are involved..today modi-tharoor controversy tops d chart in the media… tomorrow its lest forgotten wen some other issue pops up… !! Finally..we the great losers(aam-aadmi) tries to demystify the controversy ends up in disappointment.. really a sleazy show..!!

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