We did not have talks with Modi in secret say Yorkshire

YORKSHIRE last night rubbished suggestions they have been involved in secret talks to set up a parallel Indian Premier League.

The club have denied holding discussions with Lalit Modi, the suspended IPL chairman, about the creation of an IPL-style Twenty20 competition involving the leading first-class counties.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have accused Modi of trying to split the English game by proposing a tournament in which the eight IPL franchises would bid for nine English counties, who would be rewarded with a guaranteed minimum of $3m to $5m per year plus a $1.5m staging fee.

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The ECB claim Modi discussed his plan during a meeting in Delhi in March attended by Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan, Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey and Lancashire committee member David Hodgkiss.

"We did attend the meeting but there were no secret proposals, no secret agenda, nothing underhand," said Yorkshire chairman Colin Graves. "We basically went on a fact-finding mission to see how the IPL was funded, how it was structured, and what was behind it all.

"There were three clubs that went on that occasion but other clubs went individually, such as Durham and Surrey, and there was absolutely nothing untoward."

ECB chairman Giles Clarke has made a formal complaint to the Indian Board alleging Modi tried to induce the counties into activities that could prove "detrimental to Indian cricket, English cricket and world cricket at large."

Modi has been given a "show cause" notice by the board – effectively a charge to answer – and has 15 days to respond.

Graves, who was yesterday elected to the ECB board for a three-year term, is nevertheless keen to maximise revenue for Test match grounds. He chairs a Test-match county pressure group pressing for an elite Twenty20 tournament in England and is keen to ensure equity for all.

"The bottom line is the Test grounds have built brand new stadiums and need to fill them more regularly," added Graves.

"If we do that, we're quite prepared to hand some of the money down to the other counties and to recreational cricket."

Commenting on his election to the ECB board, Graves said: "It's a great honour and fantastic news for Yorkshire. We haven't had a representative on the board for quite a long time."