India news September 18, 2013

Airtel will not renew BCCI home series contract

ESPNcricinfo staff

The BCCI will begin the hunt for a new title sponsor after Bharti Airtel, the telecommunication company, decided not to renew its contract that expired on March 31. The BCCI's marketing committee will meet in Mumbai on Thursday for finalizing the invitation to tender document for getting in a new series sponsor for home fixtures.

Airtel, which had won the rights as series sponsors for all international and domestic matches played in India from September 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013 for a consideration of Rs 3.33 crore per match, had been given three months' grace period to renew its contract. However, since the company opted not to continue as the series sponsor, the BCCI's marketing committee - a 23-member panel headed by Farooq Abdullah - will finalise the tender document.

"Most of the terms and conditions, barring the base price, are likely to remain the same," a BCCI insider said. Besides the series title sponsorship, Airtel were also entitled for branding on stumps and fixed slots for in-stadia advertising. The base price for the 2010 document was Rs 2 crore per match and Airtel was the highest bidder among 10 prospective sponsors.

Airtel's decision to not extend its association may be seen as a setback for the BCCI's credibility in the wake of IPL spot-fixing scandal. However, a BCCI insider said Airtel's decision had nothing to do with the recent controversies in Indian cricket. In fact, he claimed that Airtel were preparing for a bigger association with Indian cricket. "Airtel have shown interest in bidding for the team title rights, like they had done in the past," he said. Efforts to contact Airtel were unsuccessful.

Airtel bid for series sponsorship after they lost out on the team's title sponsorship in July 2010. When the bid documents for the team's title sponsorship were opened for the period from July 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013, Sahara India Pariwar bagged the rights for the 42-month window at Rs 3.34 crore per match. Airtel, the other bidder, had quoted Rs 2.89 crore per match.

With Sahara embroiled in a stalemate with BCCI over its IPL team's ownership, Sahara have taken a stand that they would be interested in renewing their association with the national team only if N Srinivasan is removed as the BCCI president. However, with the BCCI leadership set to remain intact for another year, Airtel have been preparing to replace Sahara as the team's jersey sponsors.

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  • Dummy4 on September 19, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @ it properly it doesn't say there are no sponsors..only the current sponsor is not interested .Indian team without sponsors not even in your wildest dream !!!

  • Krishna on September 18, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Wow..Blue Jersey with red Airtel logo will look cool....but i heard Samsung and Hyundai is also trying hard for team India sponsorship.

  • S on September 18, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Jeez - a 23 man marketing team. BCCI is a beast.

  • Jay on September 18, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    @PrasPunter - "Wheels have come off.." err, you got the wrong team and cricket board mate. CA and the Australian team have their wheels off. This is Indian cricket you are talking about and their wheels never come off; seriously.

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman - what has changed is that India has developed a new young team which demolished Aus 4-0 albeit in India and also dominated the Champions Trophy. Of course they are unproven in SA conditions, but its not like they have been shown to be bad either. This is not the same team that lost 0-8. Shikhar Dhawan has absolutely EXPLODED on the scene. Pujara has been a rock. Neither of them have toured overseas with the national team. Virat has improved greatly and scored a century in the last test in Aus. On the bowling side, Bhuvneshwar has come on in leaps and bounds and Zaheer looks much fitter. Only when we give them a chance and have a series will we find out how good they are. They may lose and be shown up but they deserve their chance. And even if they do lose, the experience will do wonders for them.

  • Dinesh on September 18, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Sahara made be-sahara and now AIRtel is sans any air. Is there someone who can tell BCCI that money will come with a responsibility? I do not conclude from a T20 but watching Dhawan bat yesterday (and whole year, what time he is having), it occurred to me that it will be almost criminal to deprive him to ply his trade against the best. Yes facing Steyn that too in SA will be ultimate test. And Dhawan only stands a chance when he is at his best (no guarantee of success, but fight it will be).

  • gurinder on September 18, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    pras punter-- wheels are coming off or have already come off. no i am not talking about billion dollar contract of indian cricket, i am talking off state of australian cricket who are 6th in tests , last in t20 and 3rd in odis. bcci is looking to cash on lucrative contract of naming rights to add few millions more to their already stacked account.nothing more here.

  • prasad on September 18, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    @PrasPunter,"the wheels have started to turn";no way,mate.they'll still bag a much more lucrative contract.this is indian cricket.the demand's never satiated.whatever happens indian cricket will remain healthy for another 100 years.mark my words!!!

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I do not understand why everybody says that the India-RSA seres is the most awaited Cricket series! What has happened to change every body's mind that India will fare better away from India? If any body needs any reminders the last 2 away series were both 0-4. True, the ODI team looks good but it will be 0-2 or 0-3 in RSA as none of the batsmen are proven against a strng opposition like RSA in RSA especially!

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Airtel name on India jersey will look cool.

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