IPL 2013 news May 21, 2013

Donald and Uthappa taken by surprise

Nagraj Gollapudi and Firdose Moonda

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.

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  • Arvind on May 22, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    This is because SRH was bought off for a cheap rate to the Maran's whereas PWI was sold for a high rate. I totally understand where Sahara comes from, and they've also said they're not going to renew the sponsorship of the Indian team from next year.

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    A few of the southern cities of Cochin, Madurai, Mysore, Coimbatore, Trichy, Mangalore or Belgaum may start franchises of their own in all likelihood in the coming years.

  • Aman on May 22, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Well with recent issues with SEBI and potential financial constraints due to that, Sahara has to be more wise with its money and its very obvious they brought their product and much higher price compared to similar products (sunrisers) sold around. With IPL governing council / chairman showing all the great qualities that normally our political leaders do, it was only matter of time before some of the teams get really upset and pull out. My que to BCCI would be, yes you had the right to encash bank guarantee but why only after PWI's last game is over and not after their last warning/deadline in end of april. As they knew PWI would pull out and mess up the whole tournament.

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    I reckon every team is having good WK batsman except Delhi. Uthappa will be bought by delhi

  • Abhishek on May 22, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Mr Khairnar.. a franchise from Ranchi? why not Bihar? or Orissa? or Kashmir?

  • Sachin on May 22, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    Make it 8 team IPL event from next year onwards. 2 teams from North Delhi n Punjab 2 teams from East Ranchi n Calcutta, 2 teams from south Chennai and Banglore and 2 teams from West Ahmedabad n Mumbai. Sunrisers should take there franchise to Ranchi and Royals to Ahmedabad. Ranchi Rhinos and Ahmedabad Aces should be new franchises. CSK: Vijay, Kartik, Ashwin, Badrinath, Balaji Mi: Rohit, Sachin, Zaheer, Umesh, Rahane RR:Dhoni, Raina, S.Tiwary, Aaroon, RP singh KXIP: Yuvi, Bhajji, Praveen, Bhuvi, Awana DD: Sehwag, Dhawan, Gambhir, Kohli, Ishant AA: Irfan, Parthiv, Yusuf, Jadeja, Pujara, Unadkat KKR: M.Tiwary, Shami Ahmed, Dinda, Saha, Mishra RCB: Uttappa, Vinay, Mithun, Manish, Binny, Samson,

  • Prem on May 22, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Uthappa is a liability for any team. He has been big on promise but hardly ever delivers. He is known to cruimble under pressure so not sure who will buy him and for how much?

  • Siva on May 22, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    The bigger question remains and that is. If a franchise keeps doing badly, like the way PWI did, can it sustain the fans' interest and so ensure the financial viability?

  • Dummy4 on May 22, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    Everyone seems to forget that for the owners, it is ONE of a diversified portfolio of businesses, they own. All such corporate heads periodically do clean up the portfolio, by pruning the non-performing business units. Very rarely the Chairman's office and his Corporate Strategy Group discuss it with the unit managers. The unit Managers come to know post facto, or if earlier through grapevine.

    BCCI also, often forget that the franchisees are not their employees.

    If a McDonald franchisee in Mumbai wants to get out, he can, within the provisions of the contract.

    The only thing the McDonalds can do, while the franchise is running, is to periodically check and ensure the quality standards are maintained and the corporate Brand Equity is not adversely hit! That is all. BCCI, in some respects, is still naive about modern business practices. That was OK in thedays when they were just a sportbody. Once they decided to get into businesses like IPL, they have to learn the business norms.

  • Sam on May 21, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    The players and staff such as Donald and Ganguly should not get too emotional about the wasted 'late night shift' before the 2012 auction. After all, they are paid employees. IPL, like most of the rest of cricket nowadays, is a business and thus, ultimately, what counts is what makes business sense. Donalds and Gangulys may deserve respect as cricketers but in the bigger scheme of the business world, they are just employees and IPL (and other such leagues) are all about selling these players and their performances as part of the business of making money (some of which trickles down to the players.)

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