Sahara India withdraws sponsorship of Team India and Pune Warriors

Sahara India has withdrawn their sponsorship from Indian cricket team and their ownership from IPL franchise Pune Warriors.

The news comes on the day of the IPL 2012 auctions, where 144 players will go under the hammer in Bangalore.

“We are withdrawing from all cricket under BCCI”, Sahara India told PTI.

“We really feel such one-sided emotional relationship cannot be dragged on any further. We are withdrawing from all cricket under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).”

“However, we don’t want to give any problem to the BCCI and we also feel that the players should not suffer. The BCCI will definitely take 2-4 months to get a new sponsor and will continue paying the sponsorship money till then.”

“All other IPL team players, coaches and other such associates will definitely get their due this year, in case they do not get a chance to play.”

“Our first entry into IPL was thwarted in 2008 when we were disqualified, owing to a small technicality on the whims and fancies of BCCI. Yet our bid was not opened.”

“Last year, Sahara entered the IPL on the basis of information in the media and everywhere else that 94 matches will be played among 10 teams. The bid price was accordingly calculated, but only 74 matches were played. We are still pursuing continuously with the BCCI to refund the extra bid money proportionately. It has been denied on the basis of strict rules.”

“In the interest of the tournament, we repeatedly tried our best to pursue the BCCI for open auction of all players so that we achieve level playing field and all teams are equally balanced from the quality players’ point of view. Again, as per BCCI’s strict rules it was denied and again, we were deprived of natural justice. Twelve of the best players were retained by the existing teams then.”

“The two new teams then requested for allowing us at least one extra foreign player but that too was denied, quoting rules.”

“Once during a World Cup tournament, Sahara’s name was not allowed because there was a clash of our Airline with a South African airline. In two major tournaments, the team had to play without the Sahara logo.”

“It was ICC’s decision so we could realize that it was for no fault of BCCI and we also did not want the players to suffer. As per the rules, we were not supposed to pay sponsorship money for those matches but we still paid the players share of the amount in entirety. Sadly, we never found BCCI believing in genuine give and take.”

Read full statement here

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