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Twittergate weakens the control of Modi

Despite the success that the Indian Premier League has enjoyed on the field will the continuing fall out surrounding the Kochi franchise lead to the downfall of IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi.

In just three years the IPL has become one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world rivaling the NFL or English Premier League in terms of revenues, viewing figures and media exposure with Modi the driving force behind it's amazing growth.

The league has achieved so much success in such a short period of time but the current mud slinging between Modi and Indian junior foreign minister Shashi Tharoor will have the BCCI wishing its commissioner wasnít the focal point of the league.

Modi has always used American sports as a comparison with the IPL so maybe the time is right for Modi to look at the Commissioners who run their respective sports in the States.

With the exception of NHL boss Gary Bettman who is public enemy number one in hockey mad Canada any of the Commissioners from the NHL, NFL or NBA could walk into a shop or restaurant anywhere in America and not generate any sort of buzz.

During the Superbowl in February NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was only in the limelight on a couple of occasions during a game which was watched by over 110 million people in the States.

Compare this to the various shoots of Modi talking to guests in the VIP lounges or close ups of him sending emails on his phone or standing in various team dug outs.

Having a recognisable Commissioner ensures the IPL is in the media spotlight but when the man in charge is as famous as his players and the bollywood stars who own the teams a controversy was never going to be far away.

Allowing Modi to use the micro blogging website Twitter was always going to end in disaster but the scandal which was created by Modi disclosing confidential information about the Kochi franchise at the weekend may be his ultimate downfall.

In the days since Twittergate more and more information is emerging on the murky ownership details of some of the current franchises which are owned by multiple entities spread across the world in numerous parent companies.

The most alarming details surround Modi himself who is associated with as many as three franchises through family members and friends.

His wifeís brother-in-law is co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals. Modiís step-daughter is married to the Burman family which co-owns the Kings XI Punjab while his close friends, the Moranis, bought into the Kolkata Knight Riders.

As more and more damaging details become public the BBCI have a tough decision to make. Modi may have created the golden goose but they must act now before the league is brought to its kneeís because of a scandal created by Modi.

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