India news October 29, 2013

Double standards in BCCI, says 'betrayed' Roy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Subrata Roy, the chairman of Sahara India, has criticised the BCCI over its different standards in dealing with IPL franchises and said he felt "betrayed" by the board's decision to terminate the IPL franchise Pune Warriors - owned by Roy - for failing to pay their bank guarantee for the 2014 season. He cited the case of Gurunath Meiyappan and the Chennai Super Kings franchise, who were cleared of any involvement in corrupt activities, though Gurunath was charged by the Mumbai Police with allegations of betting.

"If the chief of any institution can create and allow such bad example like that of Gurunath, how can a body function independently? Had Gurunath been an owner or principal of some other team, what would have happened to that team?" Roy told the Times of India. "After this example, BCCI has lost the right to take action against anyone. Their whims and fancies are more important to them than anything else."

Sahara had threatened to pull out of the IPL last year, barely an hour before the auction. The main point of contention has been the franchise fee, which was negotiated for 18 matches per team in the league stage. However the minimum number of matches was reduced to 16, after which Sahara sought to resolve the matter through arbitration. Even though the BCCI and Sahara agreed to the arbitration, no further steps were taken after the parties failed to agree over who would oversee the abitration.

In March this year, Sahara was required to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 170.2 crore for IPL 2014. The franchise had defaulted on 70% of the payment last season and had its bank guarantee encashed by the BCCI in May. Subsequently, Sahara announced its decision to pull out of the IPL, detailing its concerns against the board, and also stated its intentions to withdraw sponsorship of the national cricket team.

"They have false egos and high-handedness and the Board will realise how big a financial loss it is suffering after Sahara pulls out of team sponsorship", Roy said. "I don't think any corporate would be interested to pay so much money to cricket at a time when there is so much of ego in the cricket bosses."

The decision to oust Pune Warriors from the IPL was taken at the BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai on October 26, but Roy felt such drastic measures were unnecessary. "I felt betrayed," he said. "Had they sat across the table, we would have continued with the Indian team sponsorship."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ian on October 30, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Oh? Yet more allegations that throw the BCCI in a poor light. Isn't the world full of surprises? I do not doubt that Mr Roy's sense of injustice & the goverance of the IPL franchises being the subject of whim is fully justified, but when was anything the BCCI ever did even-handed or even open?

  • Aditya on October 30, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    This is really sad. To estrange tycoons like Subroto Roy (he even constructed a beautiful stadium in Pune). This just does not make any business sense at all. BCCI's misadventures in dealing with corruption in IPL, RSA board, and its obstinate stance of not using UDRS while every other cricketing nation uses it just goes on to show that they are not bosses, but tyrants of world cricket. Beware BCCI, pride goes before a fall.

  • san on October 29, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    What I do not understand is, the childish egos from such big organizations and Corporations? We just saw the BCCI-CA/Lorgat standoff and now this.

    Why is it so much difficult to sit across the table and try to solve the issue. If you cannot reach an agreement after giving it a try few times that is a different issue. But having agreed for arbitration, but not able to find a panel that is agreeable to both parties is silly....

    And both parties continue the deadlock, until the inevitable day looms.

  • Kathy on October 29, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Rules? Do you all live in lala land? Sahara has ploughed millions into Indian cricket over the years. That obviously counts for nothing and disappointed in the VERY least they have been treated this way. We need heart back in cricket. Heart, soul and love of the game. The money will come, the riches will be there, everyone can earn a good living from this wonderful game if only the good gut instincts are listened to and followed. It's not brain surgery...

  • Parag on October 29, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I somewhat feel Roy has the right to feel betrayed. But on a lighter note, I feel he will make more losses if PWI continues. His team just does not know how to win.

    But jokes apart, does it mean that SAHARA is withdrawing its national sponsorship?

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    With due respect, should Mr. Sahara not consider the Rs 20K Cr penalty it has been asked to pay shareholders? You can sling mud all day long, but the integrity of Sahara India Parivar is also questionable. Why is it that other teams have not objected to the franchise fees? What was asked for and what actually transpired, we are not privy to those events and we can only see the major fall outs and outcomes. Sorry you might have been handed out a raw deal but our sympathies do NOT go out to you.

  • vas on October 29, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    The decision to terminate Sahara was taken by the working committee, not by Srinivasan. They were going by the rules. Subrata Roy seems to be in double minds. He announced he was pulling out of IPL last May. Now he looks like he wants to stay on. If he wanted to stay on he should've paid the fees, waited for the court verdict. And if the court rules in his favour then BCCI will pay back the excess amount.

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