London:The defamation suit filed by sports management firm IMG against Giles Clarke could cost the England Cricket Board chief a whopping 20 million pounds.
Clarke has been sued by IMG for claiming that the firm was part of suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi's alleged plans to start a rebel Twenty20 league in England.
"These are serious allegations. IMG would be expected to claim damages in the millions," the 'Daily Mail' quoted a source as saying.
"Clarke taking on IMG when the Test Match Grounds are talking positively to them may be a bridge too far for the ECB," the source added.
In its writ sent to Clarke last week, IMG lawyers said the ECB chief's claim "bears the meaning that our client was promoting an illegal competition in contravention of the rules of the ECB and the ICC that would destroy world cricket's structure, and create a new rebel league, and stated it was so serious it merited being banned from world cricket.
"Such allegations are grossly defamatory and utterly false. It is immensely damaging to our client to state it would attempt to circumvent precisely the sort of bodies it works closely with."
IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher said the firm would do all it can to get an apology.
"We are proud of conducting our business with class, integrity and probity and when that record is unjustly attacked we will take every step to defend it," Gallagher said.