India news February 12, 2012

No decisions yet on BCCI-Sahara row

In a significant development towards a likely resolution, the BCCI president N Srinivasan and Sahara India chairman Subrata Roy met in person for the first time since the flashpoint last week, when Sahara pulled out of the sponsorship of the Indian team and the ownership of Pune Warriors IPL franchise. A joint statement issued at the end of the hour-long meeting only said that the BCCI had decided to table the "outstanding issues" of the dispute at the board's working committee meeting in Chennai on Monday. The absence of any discontent within the Sahara camp suggested the meeting went some way towards finding a resolution of mutual satisfaction.

"Sahara & BCCI met today and discussed all the outstanding issues, and it was agreed that the subject will be further discussed in the BCCI Working Committee meeting tomorrow. The interaction was focussed on interest of Indian cricket, including IPL," the statement said.

The meeting took place at one of Sahara's hotels in Mumbai and was attended by senior officials from both sides. Accompanying Srinivasan were the BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, the treasurer Ajay Shirke, the IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla and the IPL chief executive Sundar Raman. Roy came with his son Sushanto and Abhijit Sarkar, the head of corporate communications at Sahara. Asked if the meeting went according to plan, Roy only said that he found ample time to speak to Srinivasan.

One of the BCCI officials indicated that the meeting was a good opportunity for Srinivasan and Roy to talk frankly and listen to each other. "This was their first face-to-face meeting. They [Sahara] have explained their position, relating to the various disputes in detail," the board official told ESPNcricinfo. "Both of them have clarified and exactly understood each other's positions."

Asked about the issues discussed, a source in Sahara said that they were not interested in specifics or minor issues. "The idea is to look it from a macro, and not a micro, level to make it a competitive and even playing field for all franchises," he said. "We always have maintained that retention [of players in 2011] went against us. The valuation we had calculated when we bought the franchise was based on 94 matches, which came down to 74. That is 20 games and in terms of money it is 23 to 24% of the annual franchise fee."

It is understood that one of the bigger concessions Sahara sought was a reduction in the franchise fee to the IPL. Sahara had bought the Pune franchise for $370 million. It is not clear if Sahara asked for that change with retrospective effect, starting in 2011. "The BCCI, after notifying its working committee, will let us know what all areas they are ready to talk about," the Sahara official said.

However, a BCCI working committee member said an issue referred to it was likely to meet with approval given that it would already have passed through the board's senior most officials.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sushil on February 13, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    What's wrong with Sahara! Promote Hockey as well do improvement of cricket from outside i.e. sponsering the talented kids from Rural areas to NCA and County teams! There is lot Sahara can do from outside!

    Nothing will happen to BCCI or Indian team, there are many more sponsers who will waste their money on the current team. Look for the future....after SRT,VVS,RAHUL, Shewag! Dhoni is replaceable worries about captain....but those other TOP 4 (SRT,VVS,RAHUL, Shewag) won't be easy! Please.....

  • Tony on February 13, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    It appears that Pune will be favoured as much as Mumbai and Chennai if not more. Thats why they were not really worried about micro issues, but the issue of getting favourable laws for their franchise.

  • A on February 13, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    I hate the IPL and everything it stands for. It is the ultimate degradation of cricket. It is what trashy pop music is to music, or stale popcorn is to a nice gourmet packet of crisps. It ruins the development of a cricketer. I really have no more words for it. However, if countries can develop a strong first class infrastructure, and T20's remain a kind of saturday fun type thing for the crowds, then its OK.

  • Srikanth on February 13, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    IPL format needs a change, should be made similar to NFL. From 2013/2014 onwards, They should have 12 teams divided into 3 divisions. Assuming that the additional cities that will be bought in the auction are Kochi, Ahmedabad & Nagpur (although I would love Kanpur to be one of them to have that part of the country represented). There will be a South division comprising of Chennai, bengaluru, Kochi, Deccan. There will be a West division made up of Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur. There will be a NEC (North/East/Central) division made of Mohali, Kolkata, Delhi,Nagpur. Each team will play its division members twice (Home and away) and play the remaining 8 teams once (4 home games and 4 away games). That way, each team plays 14 games in a season. 1 team from each division gets into the playoffs and the 4th placed team in the playoffs would be a wild card entry, one that failed to top its division but was best among all those who didn't top. Playoffs can be done how they do it now.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Sahara stop the discussion with BCCI who have enough and more sponsorship. Take up promotion of hockey and if done well it will do good to Sahara and the Indian national game

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Wat is the output of the meeting. . . ?

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    No decisions yet on BCCI-Sahara row

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