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March 15, 2013
Pune Warriors' IPL 2013 home matches will be held at the stadium at Gahunje on the outskirts of the city it has been confirmed, despite the ongoing dispute between the Sahara Group - which owns the Warriors franchise - and the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) over the title rights of the stadium. The BCCI working committee was informed at a meeting in Mumbai on Friday that the Warriors' owners and the MCA have agreed to put their legal tussle on hold for the duration of the IPL's sixth edition, to be played from April 3 to May 26.
"Both the parties have agreed to move a joint application to the court saying the blacked out name [of the stadium] be reinstated only from the first till the last day of the IPL. If the dispute isn't resolved in that window, status quo will be reinstated," a BCCI insider said. "So the stadium is set to be recognised as the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium during the IPL".
In January, the MCA had terminated its agreement with the Sahara Group regarding the title rights of the stadium for alleged non-payment. Once the MCA covered the name of the stadium with a black cloth, Sahara moved the Bombay High Court alleging unlawful breach of agreement. Since then, there was uncertainty over where Warriors would play their home games.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla initiated the truce last week, by getting Abhijit Sarkar, director of Sahara Adventure Sports Ltd, and Ajay Shirke, president of the MCA, to discuss the issue. That meeting culminated in both the parties agreeing to commit to a workable arrangement two days ago.
The BCCI working committee was also informed that the dispute between the Hyderabad Cricket Association and Visaka Group over in-stadia advertisements at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium had been "amicably" resolved. "Everyone is glad that all the riddles regarding IPL venues are over. Now we are looking forward to the tournament to get underway with a glittering opening ceremony," the BCCI insider said.
At the meeting, the working committee also discussed how the notice from the income tax department regarding an outstanding bill of Rs 2,300 crore (approx USD433m) should be dealt with. Treasurer Ajay Shirke, who was handed the responsibility of coming up with suggestions during the last working committee meeting, on February 4 in Chennai, presented "three options" to the working committee. "It was left to the president [N Srinivasan] and the secretary [Sanjay Jagdale] to finalise the future course of action," the insider said.
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