The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was left red-faced after its official website `bcci.tv` went offline for almost a day due to failure in renewing the domain name.
The world's richest cricket governing body had to face this embarrassment as it for some reason did not pay the money for its updation, which was February 3.
What was more embarrassing for all the stakeholders of the BCCI was that the website registrars - register.com and namejet.com - had put the domain name up for public bidding, reportedly receiving seven bids with the highest of USD 270.
It was learned that the domain name was purchased by former chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL) Lalit Modi in February 2006, and it was valid until February 2, 2019, however, February 3 was the date for its updation.
The domain name continues to be owned by Modi, who was banned by the BCCI in 2010.
Reflecting on the same, Modi's lawyer Mahmood Abdi said, "Lalit Modi reinvented BCCI in many ways. Digitalisation was one such sphere. While the then the mindset of BCCI functionaries was archaic vis a vis latest IPR avenues like domain names etc, Lalit Modi himself took the initiative and got host of domain names registered by him. Bcci.tv is one such domain name. Despite having been treated so unjustly by BCCI, Lalit Modi still keeps the domains alive and functional for the good of cricket and its administration."
"The domain was on auto renewal. Whereas, there was some payment gateway issue which has been resolved and the website is operational. BCCI should have been proactive to get this domain renewed well in time so as to avoid the glitch. Many domain names are relating to cricket are owned by Lalit Modi and some of them are subjudice. Lalit Modi takes care of their updation and upkeep," he added.
Meanwhile, Lalit Modi's son Ruchir Modi echoed similar views as he said that his father had allowed the BCCI to use his domain name out of goodwill till date and would continue to do so.
Ruchir added that the issue occurred because of the mis-payment on the part of the web provider and that the matter has been resolved now.
"The link bcci.tv is a URL that was purchased by Lalit Modi prior to 2010. It is a link that he has maintained and had for many years ever since then. He has been out of goodwill allowed the BCCI to use it till date and will continue to do so," Ruchir said.
"The mis-payment which was reported in the media was an issue by the web provider net for India and it is something which has been resolved and I think that the website is now active again," he added.
The incident was even more embarrassing for the country's cricket board as the fiasco unfolded at a time when India were playing their second ODI against South Africa in the Centurion.
The official website of BCCI is an important source of live scores across all categories besides also involving putting up key documents regarding the functioning of the Indian cricket board.
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