IPL 2012 news February 16, 2012

Sahara and BCCI patch up

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Pune Warriors will remain in the IPL and its parent company Sahara will continue its sponsorship of the Indian team, it was announced on Thursday, ending a public and bitter dispute between the Indian board and its long-time corporate partner. The two sides released a joint statement, almost a fortnight after Sahara's dramatic exit from top-flight Indian cricket, which spelled out the terms of the agreement.

The major concession Pune seem to have won is the restoration of its auction purse of $1.6 million and the licence to buy players who were not sold at the auction and also foreign players who were not part of the auction.

The other concessions include: an extension of the trading window till the end of February, the possibility of being allowed more than the norm of four overseas players (subject to the agreement of the other franchises), and an arbitration process to decide on their demand for a concession in the franchise fee.

Sahara has also been given the right to stage one of the IPL play-off games subject to the consent of Royal Challengers Bangalore, the original hosts. The BCCI also said it would consider Sahara's request to furnish a bank guarantee for its franchise fee in two instalments.

Sahara's decision to continue its sponsorship of the Indian national team had this proviso: "Sahara may want to exercise its right to assign the sponsorship as per the agreement," implying the possibility of Sahara sub-letting the rights.

Sahara chairman Subrata Roy, while welcoming the agreement, said one of his requests had not been included. "We had strongly requested for an open auction in 2013," Roy said. Though he remained in his offices in one of the Sahara hotels in Mumbai, the camp appeared upbeat and his two sons - who were closely involved in the negotiations - were seen walking purposefully and wishing officials and members of the media.

IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla was happy the dispute was resolved. "Whatever issues were there, have been addressed," he said. "Whatever was possible within the framework, has been achieved. We have not bent rules."

One of Pune's cricketers, the left-arm spinner Murali Kartik tweeted: "Great news..Pune Playing..guessing right that all the players are relieved..phew."

It was not immediately clear, though, whether Sahara's decision to rejoin the fold was contingent on all conditions being ultimately met, and whether other franchises had been consulted during the negotiations. Franchise officials contacted by ESPNcricinfo said they had come to know of the news through the joint statement and had not been formally contacted by the BCCI. They had not, they said, decided their stand on the issues that relate to them.

Today's announcement followed hectic negotiations over the past few days and a fair bit of posturing and selective leaks. Officials said negotiations were fraught with complications given the high stakes involved and the BCCI team's need to clear every major decision with their seniormost officials. Even as late as Thursday afternoon, they said, chances of a deal were hanging by a thread.

Sahara had threatened to walk away from both the league and Indian cricket an hour before the IPL auction earlier this month. The dispute arose around a request by Sahara to be allowed to add their star signing Yuvraj Singh's to their auction purse for the February 4 auction after it was learnt that Yuvraj could not take part in the IPL.

The truce comes three days after a meeting of the BCCI's working committee at which almost all of Sahara's requests were turned down.

Edited by Jayaditya Gupta

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jayaesh on February 18, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    I fully agree with @bruisers n with @satish619chandar , Sahara when it had decided to withdraw from IPL on auction day in there press release had mentioned that they had taken decided to sponsor the Indian as they din't want any foregin company to do the same, they also went to great details to mentio all the plans they had for the betterment of Indian youth in villages n small towns.Now the same Sahara thinks 7 Indian players are not good enough for them n want the 5th foregin player.They made a huge song n dance about retention clause as if they had bought those players on auction they would have won the IPL,really if that was the case Rajasthan Royals would have never won an IPL in first place,i think they wanted those retained players not for playing purposes but for the marketing pull n there brand value !! in truth they have some realy good Indian players in there mix,however if i was an young Indian player in the team i will feel devalued ...

  • Shrek on February 17, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    NO !!!!! not the circus again

  • Ashok on February 17, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    @Bruisers: Yuvraj's is not an injury - unforeseen rare form of cancer.He may not return to the team again. So reimbursement of his Fee is fully justified. As regards to the 5th foreign professional, I agree with your comment, albeit Mumbai were given undue advantage last year. Their so-called injured player (I think, Yadev) played in the XI. 7 Indians + 4 foreign players is a good mix. Sahara made a huge blunder by paying an exhorbitant entry fee of $370 Million, which might exceed the entry fee of all other franchises put together. Now they are in a damage control mode, I think. 27% fee retrieval for games not played + extra 5th player. I don't know if Sahara withdraws Pune from IPL, whether they would get back their $370 Million. If they do, I would have tried that avenue first. Then re-enter Pune Warriors for a fee in the range of <$50 Million. Someone in Sahara goofed up royally& has been asked to make amends. It is "crazy" to pay $370 Million entry Fee!!

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    GREAT they are getting along. All the best. Cricket is the winner.

  • Sakthi on February 17, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Well done Roy and Sahara. You have made wonderful drama telling people of India that Sahara going spend money on social works and now you show the real color. Why should u make ppl as jokers

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    its good that pune is back...all the best 2 pune team

  • $$ milind on February 17, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Pune is a strong side even without Yuvi. I think d franchise should have faith in their players. a important fact is that Yuvraj isn't present but Angelo Matthews will b present this year who missed d previous I P L due to injury.....

  • Arun on February 17, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    good to see that issue has been resolved :)

  • Satish on February 17, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Sahara can't play in ONE IPL without Yuvi whom they claim to be the marquee player and that too after playing with him for only one year.. But they still expect other teams to leave all their best players and come to full auction? Really felt very onesided that argument.. I find no sense in the FULL auction especially the franchises spend more money and time to develop a time and select a captain and groom a team under him.. I feel there is no need for any auction from now.. The teams can just have a transfer window from now.. It is unnecessary to have another auction from fresh.. How about the money and time spent by Pune for the two years? Are they not satisfied with this team they are having right now? Uthappa, Nehra, Murali Kartik, Mianish Pandey, Rahul Sharma are some of the best limited overs specialists in the country and in addition they have Dada, Manhas, Jhunjunwala, B Kumar, Monish Mishra who are very good domestic players.. Sahara is still a very strong team..

  • Satish on February 17, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs : If you really want to see only international players, you can confine with international matches alone as many prefers.. The basic idea of the T20 leagues apart from money is to allow the exposure of the local players with international players and they can learn something from them.. We have already seen some of very good players emerging stronger by bonding in counties or in IPL too..

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