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Lalit Modi had plans to create a 'rebel cricket league' in UK

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If cricket came to India from the British, Lalit Modi came very close to showing them how to make a fortune out of the game rather than sitting around in white flannels taking leisurely tea breaks.

All ten franchisees of the Indian Premier League would have had the option of bidding for a franchisee associated with a storied English county, had Lalit Modi’s purported plans to create a ‘rebel cricket league’ come to fruition, according to emails between county officials seen by ET.

According to a structure that was apparently proposed during a now controversial meeting between Lalit Modi and representatives of three English county cricket clubs, IPL franchisee owners would be encouraged to bring in a UK-based shareholder to take 50% stake in the franchisee so that a UK identity could be presented publicly.

These details form part of an email that Stewart M Regan, the CEO of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, sent to representatives of several other county clubs, detailing the outcome of the meeting the recipients were presumably aware of.

Giles Clark, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), got hold of the communication and sent it to BCCI president Shashank Manohar, as part of his formal complaint that Mr Modi was attempting to subvert the cricket administration structure in England. The BCCI sent a show cause notice to Modi on May 6, asking him to explain the charges that form part of the ECB communication.

On Monday, Mr Modi sought five more days to respond to BCCI’s original show cause notice. Board sources said he would be granted the time.

Apart from Mr Modi, the March 31 meeting in Delhi was attended by representatives of county cricket clubs of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Warwickshire, apart from Andrew Wildblood and Peter Griffiths of IMG, the London-based company that runs IPL. The same evening, Mr Regan sent a mail to representatives of various counties that is essentially the minutes of the meeting, and outlining the vision, the proposed deal structure and potential challenges and threats to the planned league.

According to the proposed deal structure, 80% of the revenues from the commercial activity would go to the franchisees and 20% would go to the county clubs.

Mr Regan’s email to other counties also said that the IPL would guarantee $3-5 million per annum to the counties willing to support the plan. This is in addition to match hosting fee that they would receive.

The UK league was to mirror the rules of the IPL and was to be aired live in India. The plan was being made as there was no opportunity to have more matches in India due to unavailability of players, according to Mr Regan’s mail.

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