|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Nagraj Gollapudi and Firdose Moonda
May 21, 2013
News : No official word from Sahara yet - BCCI
Full text of Pune Warriors' statement
News : Player payments in focus after withdrawal
News : Pune Warriors pull out of IPL
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
The decision by Sahara, owners of Pune Warriors, to pull out of the IPL seems to have caught its franchise staff by surprise. Coach Allan Donald and senior batsman Robin Uthappa have both admitted to being caught off guard by the development.
"This is a massive surprise to me," Donald told ESPNcricinfo. "I'm shocked because we had spoken, not in great detail but loosely, about prospects for next year. The owners were really upbeat for next season and the next three years because next year we'd have new contracts, new players. We spoke about the possibility of building a culture within the team."
Uthappa said none of the players or support staff had made a mention of pulling out at all. "I was browsing on my iPad and read the headline, 'Pune Warriors pull out of IPL,' I was like 'wow,'" Uthappa told this website, adding that he was surprised but not shocked. With the contracts coming to an end this season, the players would have been back on the auction list before the next IPL. "It is okay. I am not too worried. Things would be back to neutral with us going back to the auction."
The scenes are reminiscent of Sahara's pullout in 2012, on the morning of the auction. As ESPNcricinfo reported at the time, the decision then was announced to the team leadership hours after it had done a late-night shift working on its auction strategy. Donald "was left rubbing his eyes in disbelief"; Ganguly, the captain, "walked away from the auction room in fury."
Tuesday's decision by Sahara India is over differences with the BCCI over the valuation of the annual franchise fee it has to pay. The decision comes three years after it bought the Pune franchise for $370 million.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
In 2011, MS Dhoni helped end a 28-year wait for India and gifted Sachin Tendulkar something he had craved throughout his career - to be called a World Cup champion
Coloured clothes, black sightscreens, two white balls: the game of cricket looked so different in 1992. But writing about it now seems more fun than watching it then
The sickening blow that struck Phillip Hughes is a reminder of the ever-present dangers associated with facing fast bowlers, even while wearing a helmet
Never mind cricket's absence from free-to-air TV - changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and an individualistic age are all contributing to a decline in participation