Bangalore: Lalit Modi, the former IPL commissioner, has said that the sale of Andrew Flintoff to the Chennai Super Kings during the 2009 player auction was rigged and that he "should have not allowed that to happen." Modi also claimed that the exclusion of Pakistan players from the IPL from the second season in 2009 was because of "arm-twisting" by BCCI officials.
When contacted by ESPNcricinfo, IPL and BCCI officials said they did not wish to respond to Modi's comments.
"Flintoff auction was rigged. I made it clear that time. That onus was on me and as chairman I should have not allowed that to happen then," Modi said. "I was arm-twisted to allow Andrew Flintoff to go to Chennai Super Kings. I'm to blame for that. It's a fact."
Chennai bought Flintoff for $1.55 million, making him the most expensive player at the time alongside Kevin Pietersen, but he played only three matches in the 2009 season before returning home injured. A knee surgery then ruled him out of the 2010 tournament.
Pakistan players were part of the inaugural IPL season in 2008 but not after that. In 2009, some Pakistan cricketers were part of the auction but they did not attract a single bid from any of the eight franchises. "Similar problem happened with the Pakistan players," Modi said. "Arm-twisting happened by senior BCCI officials that nobody should pick them."
Modi also criticised the IPL's decision to allow the franchises to retain up to four players after the contracts expired at the end of the 2010 season. Chennai and Mumbai Indians were the only teams to retain four players.
"The retention clause was only for first three years. All players were supposed to go back to auction after first three years," Modi said. "In the fourth year  that did not happen and they allowed the players to stay back. That became a problem. When the new teams come in, that's a problem for them and I had pointed out it last year. If you pull out few things the entire model is going to fall apart."