IPL news February 9, 2012

BCCI, Sahara to meet on weekend

BCCI and Sahara India Parivar are scheduled to meet this weekend, probably on February 12, to discuss the issues that led to Sahara withdrawing its sponsorship of the Indian team and ownership of the Pune Warriors IPL franchise.

Officials privy to the dialogue between the parties told ESPNcricinfo that the venue and time would be finalised on February 11. Chennai is the likely choice because of the BCCI working committee meeting there on February 13; Mumbai is the alternative.

"Yes, the discussions are on. We don't have a date [as] people are busy," a BCCI official said. Asked if Sahara would be happy to reverse their decision, the official said: "Don't worry about it, these issues will get sorted ... They will be back, no one is going anywhere"

The IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, who is also one of the BCCI vice-presidents, has been in frequent contact with Subrata Roy, Sahara's chairman. On February 4, Roy had said he was forced to end the relationship with the BCCI because of a "chain of displeasure" between the sponsors and the board. However, the BCCI president N Srinivasan expressed a desire to resolve the dispute, and Roy reciprocated saying he would be open to talks.

It is understood that on Thursday, the Sahara management asked the coaching staff to shortlist names of players the Warriors would like to buy from the other franchises during the ongoing trading window, which closes on March 4.

"The coaches have been asked to see what the options left to get the team balance correct are," a Sahara official told ESPNcricinfo.

According to a Sahara source, they are happy with the strength of the present Warriors squad, but they missed out on bolstering the middle-order void caused by Yuvraj Singh's unavailability due to illness.

If the IPL had allowed Sahara's request to add Yuvraj's cost ($1.8 million) to the auction purse ($2 million), the source said they could have gone all out for the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Vinay Kumar and may be even a wicketkeeper. The Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine is injured and will not be available for the fifth season. Robin Uthappa, a part time keeper, is expected to keep wicket this season but Pune are on a lookout for a domestic glovesman.

"Now we will have to re-think our strategy, considering we did not participate in the auction," a Sahara source said.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo