Mumbai:The prospect of no Australian cricketer participating in the soon-to-be-launched Indian Premier League doesn't seem to bother Lalit Modi.
The IPL meet in Mumbai on Friday was meant to have ironed out - amongst other things - contractual issues. But from the aggressive tone the BCCI vice-president Modi has taken, the standoff with Cricket Australia (CA) may continue.
There was much backroom action at the cricket headquarters in Mumbai, where BCCI officials thrashed sponsorship issues out with CA.
The franchises met board officials to discuss the nitty-gritty of player auction. So while the fundamentals of where and how are being taken care of, the big question that remains is who will be playing?
The base price for India players was quoted between Rs. 39 lakh to Rs. 1.5 crore approximately.
Around 10 Australia players are believed to have been signed on. But CA's requirement of wanting protection for their sponsors has clearly jeopardised the participation of the likes of Brett lee and Ricky Ponting.
Modi says there will be no global sponsorship protection for any player association.
This means that the ball is in CA's court. Even Ponting had admitted that CA's demands are unreasonable and that he is keen for the board to clear the way for the players.
"I don't think Cricket Australia will be able to make any of their sponsors global sponsors," Ponting had said earlier this week. "If they tried to, I am sure Players' Association will have something to say about that."
"It would be a little bit unfair if that was the case," he said.
To which, Modi said: "We are keen to revoke the No Objection Certification for players like Adam Gilchrist."
Clearly, the stakes are high. Star players like Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, etc stand to earn more than a crore from just one IPL season.
However the Aussies are also a big draw, which is why the league intends to relax its two-year embargo on retired players.
CA's representatives and agents of some players are due in Mumbai for discussions. Based on that, the team owners will have a better idea on who they should bid for for during the auctions.