JOHANNESBURG: South Africa was confirmed as host of the Champions League Twenty20, hours before tournament chairman Lalit Modi was suspended by India’s cricket board over allegations of corruption.
Champions League organizers said the event, featuring the top provincial teams from around the world, will be held from September 10-26, but it is unclear what role Modi, who is also chairman of the Indian Premier League, will play.
Modi was excluded from an IPL governing council meeting Monday after accusations of financial irregularities in the lucrative tournament.
“The governing council has accepted Cricket South Africa’s offer to host the tournament,” a Champions League statement said Sunday, “with the venues and competing teams for the second edition of the world’s premier domestic Twenty20 competition to be finalized in the coming weeks.”
Speaking before his suspension, Modi said: “South Africa is considered an ideal CLT20 host after successfully staging the Indian Premier League and ICC World Twenty20 tournaments in recent years.”
Modi has been suspended from the operation of the IPL, the Indian cricket board and any of its committees, which includes the Champions League.
The Champions League did not comment on the allegations.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced Modi’s suspension late on Sunday, following the IPL final, after days of mounting controversy.
The offices of the league and the country’s national cricket board have been raided by tax officials and Indian lawmakers have demanded a parliamentary inquiry into claims that IPL franchises had been sold for millions of dollars without accounting for the source of the funds.
Modi is also a vice president of the BCCI and heads the fixtures committee that decides the venues and itinerary of international matches in India.
His role as chairman of September’s Champions League is in doubt, but Modi defended himself against the accusations on Monday.
“The BCCI is scared of the truth. Nothing wrong has been done,” New Delhi Television quoted Modi as saying. “Every decision was endorsed by the governing council.”
The Champions League said its governing council is scheduled to meet in May to finalize the details for the tournament. It is run by the three founding member boards, the BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa.
Australia’s New South Wales won last year’s inaugural Champions League competition in India, with none of the IPL teams reaching the last four.