Sahara Pune Warriors has made a decision to pull out of IPL and discontinue renewal of BCCI sponsorship. For the current year, Sahara Pune Warriors has not paid the franchisee fee in full. Due to this, the bank guarantee has been encashed by BCCI. Pune Warriors India was owned by Sahara India Parivar. Their sponsorship of the Indian cricket team will not be renewed now as per announcements made. In December 2013 the present contract is expected to expire. The BCCI did not agree to bring down the fee, after a demand was made by the firm based in Lucknow.
The full franchisee fee of the Pune Warriors team was not paid by Sahara resulting in the BCCI encashment of the bank guarantee. A representative of Sahara has stated that the decision of Sahara to withdraw from the IPL is a final and firm one. The plug has been pulled by Sahara the second time actually. Due to the same kind of reasons, they pulled the plug in 2012, however they put in efforts to have their differences with BCCI bridged thus returning to the fold. For ten years, a franchise was brought by Sahara for Rs.1702 crores in the year 2011. Even if the whole fee is waived, Sahara states, that it will not return back to the IPL. The group has also stated that there was a lot of temptation for withdrawing from the sponsorship of the Indian cricket team. However, in the interest of the Indian cricket players, it refrained to do so. Out of the sixteen matches played, Pune Warriors have won four matches. In this IPL – 6th season, the team has finished at the eighth position out of nine.
Rajiv Shukla, Vice President of BCCI was approached by the owners of Sahara Pune Warriors. If there is no reduction in the installment fee and if the board tries to get the bank guarantees encashed, then Sahara would pull out of the tournament, the Pune Warrior owners stated. Efforts were put in by BCCI to convince the franchise a resolution to the issue would be found amicably. It also seems that the BCCI wants the whole issue to be postponed till the end of the league only, Sahara sources say. Sahara had made a request to the BCCI that the bank guarantees should not be touched. In April it was clearly stated that they would be pulling out of the cricket tournament. They did not want to cause any jeopardy and hence decided to wait till they would complete their share of matches, a source from Sahara informs. Efforts were made to talk to the BCCI however, the bank was also threatened with dire legal action if there was no release of bank guarantees. For quite a long time, Sahara had stood by BCCI and when no one had come forward, they have given money, states a source. Sahara is just not able to believe the fact that just for a few crores, the BCCI could do this to them.
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