No official word from Sahara yet - BCCI
A day after Pune Warriors announced its pullout from the IPL, the BCCI has said it hasn't received any "direct communication" from the franchise owner Sahara India regarding the issue. The board also confirmed that it had cashed part of the franchise's bank guarantee.
On Tuesday, Sahara had issued a press release saying it was withdrawing from the IPL over financial differences with the BCCI stemming from the valuation of the annual franchise fee it has to pay. It appears it has not formally communicated that decision to the board.
Sahara has repeatedly tried to get the board to revise its franchise fees - $370m over 10 years, the highest in the IPL - and had to pay Rs 120 crore (around $21.6m) this year before the start of the season.
"Once the 3 April 2013 due date had passed, the Governing Council had two letters sent to Sahara Adventure Sports Limited - one on 12 April 2013 and the second on 24 April 2013 - requesting settlement of the overdue amount," the BCCI's release said. "No payment was made and no response was received to the second letter and so, in order to protect its interests, the BCCI was forced to encash the guarantee."
Sahara had also complained that the process of arbitration, which began soon after the franchise initially pulled out in February 2012, wasn't progressing as the BCCI hadn't agreed on any arbitrator. The BCCI, in turn, said it was Sahara which was stalling the negotiations.
"The BCCI cannot be held responsible since every one of the eminent retired judges suggested by the BCCI was not found acceptable by the franchisee," the board said. "In order to break this impasse, a letter was sent to Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, proposing that as the claimant to the arbitration, it should approach the court to appoint an arbitrator so that the process could move forward. Again, no response was received to this suggestion."