Pawar asks Modi to quit as IPL chief

New Delhi: The Union agriculture minister and cricket strongman, Mr Sharad Pawar, has reportedly reached an agreement with the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Mr Shashank Manohar, to ask Mr Lalit Modi to quit as the Indian Premier League Commissioner after the IPL final on April 25.

Sources said Mr Pawar reached the agreement as he was under pressure from both the Central government and the IPL Governing Council.

At a meeting with the finance minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, and the home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, Mr Pawar was reportedly told that the government intends to take the investigation into the IPL ownership and cash row to its logical conclusion.

On the other hand, a majority of the IPL Governing Council members have also met and come to the unanimous conclusion that Mr Modi must step down to restore the credibility of both the IPL and the BCCI.

Sources said the BCCI is seeing the IPL row as one of its biggest crises in recent times.

With Mr Modi arriving in Mumbai a short while ago on a chartered flight, equations and relationships within the BCCI have changed, and for all practical purposes, Mr Modi is expected to formally put in his papers after meeting Mr Pawar either on Tuesday night or on Wednesday.

Earlier, Mr Pawar and Mr Manohar said a "collective decision" would be taken by the IPL Governing Council and that neither would interfere in the process.

They said that an internal probe would be carried out on the IPL row.

Mr Manohar is widely known not to favour Mr Modi’s continuance as IPL chief. But Mr Modi, who is a BCCI vice-president, is not expected to give up without a fight.

Mr Pawar and Mr Manohar said they have agreed that the protection of the "interests of Indian cricket loving population and the players, including upcoming players" is of prime importance.(ANI)

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