IPL news February 4, 2012

BCCI calls Sahara withdrawal 'unfortunate'

27

The BCCI has said it was "unfortunate" that Sahara India Parivar had chosen to withdraw their ownership of the Pune Warriors IPL franchise, as well as their sponsorship of the Indian team. However, Rajeev Shukla, the IPL chairman, and one of the BCCI vice-presidents, said that the board needed a formal intimation in writing from Sahara before they could decide on a future course of action.

The Sahara decision, which was made public through a media release, caught everyone, including the BCCI unawares. The announcement of their decision came an hour before the IPL player auction was set to commence in Bangalore.

"It is unfortunate," Shukla said at the end of the bidding for the marquee players. "[But] unless we get something in writing then only we will be reacting. If they want it [their contract] terminated, they want to withdraw [from the IPL], then we will decide [once we get official confirmation]," Shukla said.

Officials from the Warriors were not present at the auction either, but Sundar Raman, the IPL chief executive, made it clear that they had the right to stay away. "There is no action that is required to be taken because it is not mandatory for them to sit in the auction," Raman said. "Pune Warriors are there or not there is not communicated to us still. As the situation arises we would respond to it.

In a statement released to the press earlier today, Sushanto Roy, the managing director of Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, said that "it was an emotional decision for us to start this sponsorship but our emotions were never appreciated and many genuine situations, were not given due consideration at all."

Roy listed a slew of instances in which he felt Sahara's requests were not entertained by the BCCI, most of which concerned the IPL. Among them was their disqualification from bidding for a franchise in 2008 and their attempts to reduce the franchise fee when the number of matches was cut down from 94 to 74 for the 2011 IPL. Their most recent concern was over the availability of Yuvraj Singh, the Pune captain, who is undergoing treatment for a non-malignant tumour in his lungs and will not be able to participate in the fifth season,

According to the BCCI, Sahara wanted the amount of Yuvraj's contact added to their auction purse, giving them US$3.4 million in total, but the IPL was not prepared to do that. "The rules are very clear and are consistent with previous seasons: Sahara Adventure Sports Limited may take a replacement following the 2012 Auction," the BCCI said in a statement of its own. "Additionally, the trading window will re-open on February 6 and Sahara Adventure Sports Limited will then have a further opportunity to take new players."

Raman said it would be inappropriate on the IPL's part to respond without getting anything in writing from Sahara. "The fact they chose not participate in the auction and having sent a press release is indeed unfortunate. Because as a federation they should have informed us of their concerns which if they wanted to discontinue their association officially in writing, which has not happened."

According to Raman, Sahara could terminate the contract only after "invoking" the relevant clause stated in the franchise agreement. "The contract terms is very clear as far as the franchise agreement is concerned and they need to invoke under the termination clause is as per the contract. We will be able to respond only then. Today we are reacting to something that has been issued as a press release, which is something, as the chairman said without getting any official intimation."

However, Raman did not shy away from taking a shot at Sahara, who he said were trying to bend the rules to suit their needs. "The truth is also they had requested flexibility and amendments to the regulations which suited them, and which was, in the opinion of the IPL, unfair to the eight other franchises," Raman said. "The IPL was not prepared to grant an exception to one franchise to be sitting in the auction room with a much higher purse than every other franchise as that defeats the purpose of the regulation."

When asked if the BCCI might have been a little flexible with Sahara given that they have enjoyed a long-standing relationship for more than decade, Raman said that such a move would have been to the detriment of the other eight franchises. "We live with the franchises on a day-to-day basis. We have to be fair to everyone. You look around and ask the other franchises if that would've been fair for them [Warriors] to be allowed to add the additional auction purse and see the response."

Officials from Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings said they had no comment as the regulator [of the IPL] was the right entity to deal with the matter.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricindia4life on February 6, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Everybody is all gaga over how BCCI got "slapped" in the face. But in my honest opinion, Sahara's behavior was not appropriate at all. 1. It's not fair for them to want extra money at the auction. Every franchise takes a risk of having their star players sustain injuries or illnesses. It's a business transaction and there's risk associated with it. You try to mitigate it by other means than asking for favors from the competitors. 2. Asking for a return on their purchase price because they played less games than promised - ridiculous behavior for a business. 3. Asking for an open auction when they stepped into the playing field - also childish behavior. You are late to the market, you have to live with the consequences. 4. As for their initial bid during IPL 1, we don't know why they didn't get it in the first place. For all we know, maybe BCCI was within its rights to not award Sahara a franchise then. 5. Warriors' staff was caught off-guard - at least let them know ahead of time.

  • Kishuv on February 6, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Seriously at last Sahara realised that..and am happy to see this IPL will take a serious turn...am not wishing to shut down IPL keep it to limited

    Because IPL definately Not only Indian cricket world cricket is spoiling..the whole game is turns to commercial now

  • Abhimanyu on February 6, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    @GlobalCricketLover, you are asking the right questions. I support SAHARA and not IPL because a corrupt body called BCCI is running it. Good to see SAHARA investing for underprivileged sports achievers and for social development initiatives for the country rather then giving it away to a corrupt organisation. I can tell you that IPL will not remain for long now, unless BCCI is cleansed from the inside out which is highly unlikely. And ICL will be reborn when IPL totally disappear. Also I am pretty darn sure that Mr. Srinivasan's (current BCCI president and also the owner of Chennai Super Kings) company called India Cements will be sponsoring the Indian team very soon. GOD BLESS SAHARA!!

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    I like 2 see IPL with 6 competitive teams. Whole tournament finish in 20 days. 10 teams on IPL4 way 2 much cricket of 50+ days. No jealousy on India, to be honest IPL is spoiling world cricket lil 2 much. There will b more + things if it would reduce to 6/7 teams.

  • Pavan_2020 on February 4, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Super decision by sahara -love it!!!

  • on February 4, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    i guess sahara may hv taken this decision b'coz of some sort of financial crunch..... nywez bad newzzzz as far as followers r concern.....

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    this is not an Indian team!!! ...it is a registered society's team (BCCI is a registered society) ...I wonder what will happen the day Sports Authority of India (the real govt. body representing India) starts a cricket team ..the SAI team might be crap ...but at least it will be a truly Indian team ...not some money minting society's team!

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Great ....... really very sad for BCCI this is a new mark in the future of the Indian Cricket and this IPL is not going to be a great hit because overdose is harmful for benefit of the game .. BCCI needs to take lesson and must take some good innovative steps to do good for the game really this is a bad news for all the Indian ....

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Please , Indian cricket fan, boycot the IPL, leave those stadiums empty. Do not give your valued money to these corruption people unless they bring the real cricket back. See how indian team suffering in Eng/Aus.

  • GlobalCricketLover on February 4, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Mr. Raman, what were you doing when 6 franchises were against '4 player retention' that was favoring only CSK and MI? were those franchises not disadvantaged then? And what about changing of the order of players during last year auction? why were no explanations given for that sudden change which was benefitting only CSK?

  • cricindia4life on February 6, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Everybody is all gaga over how BCCI got "slapped" in the face. But in my honest opinion, Sahara's behavior was not appropriate at all. 1. It's not fair for them to want extra money at the auction. Every franchise takes a risk of having their star players sustain injuries or illnesses. It's a business transaction and there's risk associated with it. You try to mitigate it by other means than asking for favors from the competitors. 2. Asking for a return on their purchase price because they played less games than promised - ridiculous behavior for a business. 3. Asking for an open auction when they stepped into the playing field - also childish behavior. You are late to the market, you have to live with the consequences. 4. As for their initial bid during IPL 1, we don't know why they didn't get it in the first place. For all we know, maybe BCCI was within its rights to not award Sahara a franchise then. 5. Warriors' staff was caught off-guard - at least let them know ahead of time.

  • Kishuv on February 6, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    Seriously at last Sahara realised that..and am happy to see this IPL will take a serious turn...am not wishing to shut down IPL keep it to limited

    Because IPL definately Not only Indian cricket world cricket is spoiling..the whole game is turns to commercial now

  • Abhimanyu on February 6, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    @GlobalCricketLover, you are asking the right questions. I support SAHARA and not IPL because a corrupt body called BCCI is running it. Good to see SAHARA investing for underprivileged sports achievers and for social development initiatives for the country rather then giving it away to a corrupt organisation. I can tell you that IPL will not remain for long now, unless BCCI is cleansed from the inside out which is highly unlikely. And ICL will be reborn when IPL totally disappear. Also I am pretty darn sure that Mr. Srinivasan's (current BCCI president and also the owner of Chennai Super Kings) company called India Cements will be sponsoring the Indian team very soon. GOD BLESS SAHARA!!

  • on February 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    I like 2 see IPL with 6 competitive teams. Whole tournament finish in 20 days. 10 teams on IPL4 way 2 much cricket of 50+ days. No jealousy on India, to be honest IPL is spoiling world cricket lil 2 much. There will b more + things if it would reduce to 6/7 teams.

  • Pavan_2020 on February 4, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Super decision by sahara -love it!!!

  • on February 4, 2012, 15:07 GMT

    i guess sahara may hv taken this decision b'coz of some sort of financial crunch..... nywez bad newzzzz as far as followers r concern.....

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    this is not an Indian team!!! ...it is a registered society's team (BCCI is a registered society) ...I wonder what will happen the day Sports Authority of India (the real govt. body representing India) starts a cricket team ..the SAI team might be crap ...but at least it will be a truly Indian team ...not some money minting society's team!

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Great ....... really very sad for BCCI this is a new mark in the future of the Indian Cricket and this IPL is not going to be a great hit because overdose is harmful for benefit of the game .. BCCI needs to take lesson and must take some good innovative steps to do good for the game really this is a bad news for all the Indian ....

  • on February 4, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Please , Indian cricket fan, boycot the IPL, leave those stadiums empty. Do not give your valued money to these corruption people unless they bring the real cricket back. See how indian team suffering in Eng/Aus.

  • GlobalCricketLover on February 4, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Mr. Raman, what were you doing when 6 franchises were against '4 player retention' that was favoring only CSK and MI? were those franchises not disadvantaged then? And what about changing of the order of players during last year auction? why were no explanations given for that sudden change which was benefitting only CSK?

  • on February 4, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Is this Sunder Raman related to Srinivasn???????

  • dipeshgala2004 on February 4, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    This is the beginning of the fall of the IPL. I am sure this IPL season is going to be a huge flop. Following are the reasons : 1) There is too much of cricket 2) India's poor performance in Australia 3) Last IPL season gave a hint of the decline in popularity of IPL, what with the semi-final and Final also having empty stadiums. 4) Anger in mind of Indian cricket fans towards IPL as it is the main reson for India's decline in TEST matches. 5) Too much t20 tournaments in different countries. The BCCI must reduce the number of IPL matches to 40 matches and finish the tornament in 25 to 30 days. Ensure that India's national team players do not injure them in the IPL as it affects India' performance. I urge BCCI to think about the country (India performance) and not only money.

  • on February 4, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Its so sad that Sahara has pulled out from the Sponsorship of the Indian team as well Pune warriors. They have an intregral part of the team. now its time to move on....

  • on February 4, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    Finally we will have INDIA written in bigger/visible fonts on the team jersys rather than sahara!!!

    and at a serious node....

    In the interest of this big nation whatever the decision taken by Sahara is really a mile stone for the sponsors to rethink on Cricket's rich body and who doesn't know about its principles. First of all this IPL itself is waste, which is really spoiling the game interest, there is no talent hunt, will burn the players skills, body, mind and their preserved energy. We the citizens should ban this, shouldn't entertain this IPL. What SAHARA has to focus is they should a real Indian Sports Academy the likes of MRF foundation, Bill Gates Foundation, Mother Theresa Foundation, DON Bosco... etc.. so that needy people will really benefit from this instead unnecessarily throwing the money to these Cricket nuts.

  • BHARATLIFE on February 4, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    Allwin J NO FRANCHISEE COMES HERE TO LOOSE OF COURSE , THEY ARE ALL BUSINESS MEN.MAY BE I AM MISSING SOMETHING: What kind of "fair" is it when a) Mumbai had few good players and they were given an exception to have 5 foreign players in the Champions league. b) How can Royal Challengers Bangalore, have bought Chris Gayle,Once they ignored him at the auction and they buy him at a cheap price. Ganguly is not even allowed to be sold ( which clearly was politics). c) When Franchicees, were allowed to retain their players, instead of redistributing the talent, to suit some franchicees, because they already had most good players.

    NOW WHEN OUR CRICKET TEAM SPONSORS FOR LONG (AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER 16 YEARS AGO), ASKED FOR YUVRAJ'S REPLACEMENT. WHO WAS GENUINELY INJURED, SO THE BCCI WANT OTHER TEAMS TO BE JUST "WHIPPING BOYS" OR WHAT. EVERY 2 YEARS, THEY NEED TO PUT ALL PLAYERS IN THE POOL, NO BODY REATAINS.BUT IF RULES ARE RULES, THE ABOVE THREE ATLEAST ONE OF THEM IS COMPLETE FALSE....

  • The_Wog on February 4, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Does sounds like as a sponsor they wanted special deals the other IPL franchises couldn't have. Guess they somehow got the idea into their head that the IPL was all about money and the BCCI's integrity was for sale if it suited their commercial interests. Can't imagine where that confusion came from.

  • on February 4, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    I guess the players are making more than they expected, although after reading the sahara press release i sincerely support them in whatever they are doing

  • on February 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Thank you very much Sahara ~ Designs were pathetic and also logo looked super cheap.

  • SagirParkar on February 4, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @AllwinJ >> Sahara are a practical business. they atleast have a sense of ethics and integrity, something the BCCI lacks severely.. it was a calculated decision on their part and they arent tied to it.. if you read Sahara's statement, you will realise that they have a few good reasons to feel aggrieved. the only thing the BCCI is interested in money.. not the players, not the teams and least of all the cricket.. also take into account Kochi's problems with the BCCI, Kumble's resignation as director of the NCA, Gavaskar's non-involvement with BCCI in an administrative post, election of Deshmukh as MCA's president over Vengsarkar who has better credentials and you get the picture of what a nightmare cricketing associations in the country are.. so please do not accuse Sahara of profiteering or making a hasty retreat..

  • Mervo on February 4, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    This means that Indian players will be paid less. More blows for India

  • correctcall on February 4, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Stunning management by Srinivasan! Conflict of interest whispers ( or roars) will be rife. How long will the Indian cricket public accept the situation - especially after the Jadeja buy.

  • SanjivAwesome on February 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Even their best sponsor has given the BCCI and IPL the thumbs down. I bet BCCI and IPL are right now the most hated corproation and executives in the world. Perhaps a poll is in order, Cricinfo?

  • on February 4, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Nightwing32. They are investing into Social Activities and Under Privileged Sports.

  • AllwinJ on February 4, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Sahara is being over smart. It is clear from their actions that they want to withdraw because they made gross miscalculation. Now, they are trying to use it to their advantage. Good that the BCCI took a bank guarantee - at least the players can be compensated.

  • maxximoo on February 4, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    ahhhhhhhhh! what did we expect? contrition? bahahahahaha. I think Sahara was well tired of following the 'official' route to deal with the BCCI....and fair enough

  • on February 4, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    what about the jerseys to be worn in 1st ODI India vs Australia??

  • Nightwing32 on February 4, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I guess they moved on to F1 now.

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  • Nightwing32 on February 4, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I guess they moved on to F1 now.

  • on February 4, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    what about the jerseys to be worn in 1st ODI India vs Australia??

  • maxximoo on February 4, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    ahhhhhhhhh! what did we expect? contrition? bahahahahaha. I think Sahara was well tired of following the 'official' route to deal with the BCCI....and fair enough

  • AllwinJ on February 4, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    Sahara is being over smart. It is clear from their actions that they want to withdraw because they made gross miscalculation. Now, they are trying to use it to their advantage. Good that the BCCI took a bank guarantee - at least the players can be compensated.

  • on February 4, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Nightwing32. They are investing into Social Activities and Under Privileged Sports.

  • SanjivAwesome on February 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Even their best sponsor has given the BCCI and IPL the thumbs down. I bet BCCI and IPL are right now the most hated corproation and executives in the world. Perhaps a poll is in order, Cricinfo?

  • correctcall on February 4, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Stunning management by Srinivasan! Conflict of interest whispers ( or roars) will be rife. How long will the Indian cricket public accept the situation - especially after the Jadeja buy.

  • Mervo on February 4, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    This means that Indian players will be paid less. More blows for India

  • SagirParkar on February 4, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @AllwinJ >> Sahara are a practical business. they atleast have a sense of ethics and integrity, something the BCCI lacks severely.. it was a calculated decision on their part and they arent tied to it.. if you read Sahara's statement, you will realise that they have a few good reasons to feel aggrieved. the only thing the BCCI is interested in money.. not the players, not the teams and least of all the cricket.. also take into account Kochi's problems with the BCCI, Kumble's resignation as director of the NCA, Gavaskar's non-involvement with BCCI in an administrative post, election of Deshmukh as MCA's president over Vengsarkar who has better credentials and you get the picture of what a nightmare cricketing associations in the country are.. so please do not accuse Sahara of profiteering or making a hasty retreat..

  • on February 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Thank you very much Sahara ~ Designs were pathetic and also logo looked super cheap.