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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:43 UK

IPL chief Lalit Modi warned about future by number two

By Simon Austin

Lalit Modi
Modi has come under increasing pressure in recent days

Lalit Modi has been warned by his deputy that he is not too big to be ousted as Indian Premier League chief.

Niranjan Shah insists the IPL's governing council is ready to take strong action when it meets to discuss Modi's future on Monday.

"The IPL is far bigger than any one individual," Shah told BBC Sport. "Everyone has to fall in line with the rules of the institution."

Modi is at the centre of allegations about financial irregularities.

Monday's meeting was called following a week of controversy about Modi and the IPL.

It all started when Modi revealed on his Twitter account that the girlfriend of Shashi Tharoor, a junior government minister, had invested in a consortium awarded a new IPL franchise in Kochi.

The IPL was Mr Modi's brainchild, but you have to remember that a lot of people have helped make it a success

Niranjan Shah
IPL deputy chairman

That revelation caused a storm which sparked Tharoor's resignation. It also led to government investigations into the teams, sponsors, broadcasters and event managers associated with the IPL.

The latest twist came on Friday, when tax and foreign exchange officials questioned Modi over allegations of corruption linked to the tournament.

Modi, the IPL chairman and commissioner, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Modi has also questioned the validity of Monday's meeting, insisting only he is able to call such a meeting. But a defiant Shah said: "The meeting is on, whether Mr Modi is there or not. We need to draw a line under this matter."

The IPL deputy chairman added: "The IPL was Mr Modi's brainchild, but you have to remember that a lot of people have helped make it a success."

The allegations of sleaze, illegal betting, favouritism and money laundering have gripped India during the last two weeks.

Tax officials have already searched the offices of IPL teams Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Deccan Chargers in Delhi, Kings XI in Chandigarh and the yet unnamed team owned by Sahara.

The governing council consists of 14 members, including Modi, and BBC Sport understands that support for the IPL chief is dwindling, making it increasingly likely he will have to stand down.

Most members of the BCCI, the governing body of India cricket, are also expected to boycott Sunday's final of the IPL, between Chennai and Mumbai, as well as the IPL awards.

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see also
Tax officials question IPL chief
23 Apr 10 |  South Asia
India cricket row minister quits
19 Apr 10 |  South Asia
Indian ex-minister defends name
20 Apr 10 |  South Asia
India orders IPL financing probe
19 Apr 10 |  South Asia
Indian minister in IPL team row
13 Apr 10 |  South Asia

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