Indian Premier League news October 26, 2013

Pune Warriors ousted from IPL

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The Pune Warriors franchise has been ousted from the Indian Premier League after the BCCI terminated, with immediate effect, its franchise agreement with Sahara Sport Adventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Sahara India Pariwar. The reason for the termination was non-payment of the bank guarantee. The decision was taken by the BCCI working committee in Chennai on Saturday. Responding to Pune Warriors' ouster, Sahara said this was not the first time the BCCI has treated the franchise "with disdain and in an unfair manner".*

According to a press release issued by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, Sahara were required to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 170.2 crore for IPL 2014 in March this year. The franchise had defaulted on 70% of the payment last season and had its bank guarantee encashed by the BCCI in May.

The BCCI release stated that, in spite of five reminders from the board, Sahara officials had communicated the franchise's decision to not submit the bank guarantee until an arbitration into their demand of reduced franchise fees was completed. Both parties had agreed to initiate arbitration in 2012, but the process has not yet started due to their disagreement over the judges to be appointed.

"In order to proceed with the preparations for the 2014 season, it is important that BCCI now has certainty as to whether the Pune franchise will comply with the terms of its franchise agreement," Patel said. "Given Sahara's continued position that it would not deliver the bank guarantee, the Working Committee unanimously determined to terminate the Sahara franchise agreement, while taking whatever action was necessary to protect the BCCI position."

Pune Warriors is the third IPL franchise, after Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Deccan Chargers, to be ousted from the IPL. Since joining the IPL in 2011 by bidding $370m, Sahara had been demanding that the franchise fee from their original agreement be reduced since the minimum matches per year have been reduced from the 18 promised to them (the 2013 season had 16 league matches per team).

Responding the the BCCI's decision in a statement, Sahara said the BCCI had once again gone back on its promises: "This is not the only time that BCCI has treated Pune Warriors India with disdain and in an unfair manner ... [This comes] despite assurances given in a meeting between Mr Subrata Roy Sahara and Mr N Srinivasan, president, BCCI, in February 2012, subsequent to which a joint media statement was issued whereby both parties agreed to start the arbitration proceedings to address Sahara's claim for a reduction in franchise fee for 74 matches. However, in contravention of the understanding reached between the parties, no steps were taken by BCCI to address our long standing demand of the reduction of the franchise fee. In fact, far from starting the arbitration, BCCI has thwarted the process."

Patel's statement implied that all the legal hurdles had been cleared for Sahara's termination. "In August 2013 and pending arbitration, Sahara moved the Hon'ble Bombay High Court seeking an injunction on BCCI's right to terminate the franchise agreement as a result of Sahara's default in not delivering the bank guarantee," Patel said. "In its order of September 5, 2013, the High Court concluded that only if Sahara gave the bank guarantee as required by the Franchise Agreement could BCCI not terminate the agreement."

*14.30GMT, October 26: This article has been updated with Sahara's statement.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Himanshu on October 28, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    This very much reminds me of my Builder buyer agreement. Every clause is biased in favor of the builder and the buyer does not hold any right whatsoever. Similarly, the franchisee agreements are all in BCCI's favor and the franchisee has no rights. I wonder, why any business house is interested in having a franchisee in IPL. Will they really be profitable after paying franchisee fees, insane amount of money to players and even share of revenue generated from the matches to BCCI?

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Euthanasia atlast for the dreadful performances!

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    With 2 teams gone in IPL, Sponsors pulling out its beginning of the end of IPL.

  • Sports on October 27, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Man, At the moment BCCI is the BOSS.

    Little bit like the USA and Obama. BCCI can do anything it likes and justify it. You cross BCCI path and you had it.

    BCCI is non negotiable. If you can put up with BCCI and tow their line, you prosper. This applies to Commentators, IPL teams, Umpires, All other cricketing nations, past players and other beneficiaries.

    This is the truth and hopefully people will accept these facts. So whats the point in all the analysis. Just waste of brain power.

    I am no fan of of the Warriors. Warriors could not put up a fight. Not in the stadium. Outside it :)

  • Vasudevan on October 27, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Usual drama. Someone will take over or PWI will get back in. In any case some team will fill the slot.

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    As a Pune Warriors fan, I'm not very happy right now. A reduction from 18 games to 16 may not seem like too much but thats more than a 10% reduction. There is no question that the bid would have been lower had Sahara known this prior to the auction. As far as competition is concerned, KKR did not do well in its first two seasons and then it went on to win it. With payers like Bhuvi, Finch, Yuvi, Luke Wright, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Sharma (this list excludes the new players that wouldve come in this year) I wouldn't have been surprised if Pune made it to the semis....guess we will never know now :(

  • Dummy4 on October 26, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Glad that IPL is down to 8 teams. Besides, having an IPL team whose base is close to the base of an existing IPL team made no sense. Sahara has supported Indian cricket and hope they do so in the future.

  • vas on October 26, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Before Sahara came into IPL fold the most expensive ipl team was MI worth $111m. Sahara was bought for $370m, which was more than 3 times that of MI. Even SRH went for $170m. You can understand Sahara's unhappiness over it. But Sahara should've fought for the reduction in the franchise fee while complying with the rules of IPL. It didn't and it is all over now for Sahara. Let's see if BCCI sticks with 8 teams or will add one or two teams.

  • Vinod on October 26, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    hope this shortens the IPL by two weeks.

  • ASIF on October 26, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Good bye, bcci need to add two more team in the coming ipl season. All the players should be auction.f

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