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I will sue media: Lalit Modi

New Delhi: Embattled IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on Monday rubbished allegations of betting and money laundering in the event and threatened to take legal action against the newspaper which has made the accusations.

Modi, who is in Dubai to attend the ICC’s Executive Board meeting on behalf of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Shashank Manohar, said the charges were ‘nonsense’ and aimed at discrediting the Twenty20 tournament.

“Mr Lalit Kumar Modi, Chairman and Commissioner, Indian Premier League (IPL) has rubbished the front page article that appeared on Monday in the ‘Economic Times’ under the title ‘I-T Blows The Lid off IPL Sleaze – Lalit Modi charged with Betting & Laundering’,” the statement issued by the IPL on his behalf read.

“Describing the article as absolutely baseless, ill-founded and motivated, Lalit Modi said that he will initiate appropriate legal action against such defamatory and malicious campaign against him by a motivated section of media,” it added.

Modi also wrote on his Twitter page insisting that the IPL is a clean tournament as it is being watched by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit. “It’s absolute nonsense. ICC’s anti-corruption unit is tracking the tournament. (It’s) another attempt to discredit IPL,” Modi said.

The newspaper, quoting an Income Tax Department report, today accused Modi and some other stakeholders in the IPL of indulging in betting and money laundering.

Modi is under fire ever since he picked up a public spat with now former junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor over the issue of stakeholders in the Kochi franchise, which will make its IPL debut next year.

Modi revealed the shareholding pattern of the team and it emerged that Tharoor’s close friend Sunanda Pushkar had a free equity worth Rs 70 crore in it. Tharoor had to resign from his post after being accused of helping Pushkar get the stake by wielding his influence.

Modi too has landed in a soup due to the controversy and his and IPL offices were raided by the Income Tax department a few days ago. There is also speculation that the high-flying IPL commissioner could have his wings clipped by the BCCI as there is growing resentment over his style of functioning in the Board.

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