Sahara Withdrawal Leaves BCCI Red-Faced

Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have some worry on his plate as Sahara India walked out as the team's sponsor.

The BCCI will need to do some quick thinking after Sahara's withdrawal as both, the team's sponsor and the IPL franchise owner of the Pune Warriors.

The BCCI will have some thinking on their minds as they look to overcome the mess created by the walking out of Sahara India as their official sponsors. Not only that, Sahara has also decided to give up on the Pune Warriors IPL team, which they had bought at the auction for a sum of $375 million.

Things came to head on the day of the auction on Saturday, February 4, when Sahara made a sudden announcement regarding their withdrawal. This was done only a couple of hours before the teams were getting ready with the player auction.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy explained that the issue stemmed from the fact that the team was neither allowed a replacement for Yuvraj Singh, nor allowed to increase their purse from $2 million in order to purchase a replacement for him at the auction.

Yuvraj Singh, who was the captain of the Pune Warriors side in the previous edition of the IPL, was ruled out of the tournament after being diagnosed of cancer. The IPL franchises could buy players within the purse of $2 million.

Roy also said that there were multiple issues around the decision to give up on both, the franchise and the team sponsorship given BCCI’s arrogant attitude towards them. He went back as far as the 2003 World Cup when Sahara wasn’t allowed to sport a logo despite being a sponsor because it clashed with the tournament’s sponsor.

He also added, “There were so many of these small things. In 2008, when the tenders were open to bids for [IPL] teams we had to submit the paperwork 48 hours before the bid document would be opened. Due to some confusion we got the papers 24 hours before the deadline and our bid was rejected.

Roy said, "We said at least give us our due, return our money," given that Sahara had bid in the team auction for a total of 94 games and the IPL has only 74 matches played in the tournament.

The BCCI has said that they will reach out to Sahara India to understand their point of view.

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