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ECB boss sued over email slamming IPL 'takeover' of English Twenty20

April 9, 2011 - London

Giles Clarke, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, is being sued for libel over an email he sent last May to Indian cricketing authorities warning of an alleged plot to "destroy world cricket's structure".

An alleged plan called "Project Victoria" to launch a Twenty20 league in England worth 1.2 billion pounds will be a key part of the libel case to be heard in England's High Court.

According to the Daily Mail, Clarke faces two separate libel actions: one from Lalit Modi, the founder of the Indian Premier League, and another from IMG, the international sports marketing firm, both of who deny they were involved in any plan to set up a rebel Twenty20 league in England.

The libel claims will be heard in July, and is expected to cost two million pounds.

Documents lodged at the High Court show Clarke's defence will allege IMG and Modi held discussions with leading English counties over a secret plan to introduce an Indian Premier League-style Twenty20 competition involving franchises rather than counties.

Modi and IMG counter that by claiming Clarke has lied in court documents in a "desperate attempt to exculpate himself", a claim Clarke denies.

Clarke sent the email that provoked the libel claims to the president of the Indian board, Shashank Manohar, although IMG contend it was also copied to members of the ECB board and other officials. It was subsequently leaked to the media. Clarke denies being responsible for the leak to the media.


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