Lalit Modi and controversy continue to remain joined by the hip after a report on Friday claimed the former IPL commissioner was/is in contact with respected BCCI official and former president Shashank Manohar.
The report also claims Modi funded Aditya Verma, the man who brought up the IPL spot-fixing case to the Supreme Court, which eventually led to the downfall of N Srinivasan and the two high-profile Indian Premier League teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
While both parties have denied being in contact with Modi, the Times of India, in their report, claim they have emails in their possession that show the former cricket bigwig might have been in touch with Manohar.
"FYI. Thought you should know. Updated sahib today and yesterday in London too. In my view pressure should be put to scrap Rajasthan Royals and CSK. There deposit and bg encased [sic] should be blacklisted and teams should be freshly auctioned to new owners. This should be without compromise..."
This was one of the emails allegedly sent by Modi to Manohar, with several more communications apparently in the newspaper's possession.
Manohar, when asked by TOI to explain the emails sent by Modi, denied all knowledge, insisting he does not use computers.
"I am not in any kind of correspondence with Lalit Modi," Manohar said. "I don't know anything about his whereabouts. I am no longer involved in day-to-day affairs of BCCI, so there is absolutely no question of him influencing me.
"You should understand I do not know how to operate computers. So I have no idea what mails you are talking about and who is talking to Modi from that id."
Manohar is a respected member of the BCCI and a former president as well, and a source told TOI that if these reports turn out to be true, then the Indian cricket board might have to take some tough decisions.
"This is hard to believe," the source said. "Manohar has been the moral voice of the BCCI and many board members have looked up to him. He has always spoken about cleaning up the board and it has been heard with a degree of seriousness.
"But now if it's proved that Manohar was in correspondence with Modi at a time when he was talking in public about initiating clean-up operations in the board, it will be quite a blow for everybody concerned. We know that president Jagmohan Dalmiya prefers discussing important matters with Manohar. Now, if this is true, we might be led to believe that the instruction is actually coming from Modi."
The report also claims that Verma was aided financially by Modi, something the former denies. "I talk to Modi, an enemy's enemy is a friend," Verma said. "But I have never taken any financial help from him.
"If I had, I would have owned up. The last time I spoke to him was on Jan 22 when the Supreme Court verdict went in my favour. He congratulated me and that was all.
"If Modi had financed me, I wouldn't have been travelling in an auto, there would have been swanky cars waiting for me."