Pune Warriors, owned by Sahara Adventure Sports, was terminated from the Indian Premier League by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) here on Saturday for “continued refusal” to give a bank guarantee of Rs. 170.2 crore to play in the 2014 season.
With the decision taken at the Working Committee meeting, the number of teams in the IPL has come down to eight from nine.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said: “As per the terms of its franchise agreement, this bank guarantee was due… in March 2013…” BCCI advisers had written to Sahara five times over the past six months. The action was taken to protect the BCCI’s position and bring clarity to the next year’s IPL.
“In August this year, pending arbitration, Sahara moved the Bombay High Court for an injunction on the BCCI’s right to terminate the agreement as a result of its default,” Mr. Patel said.
However, the court ruled on September 5 that if Sahara did not give the guarantee, the BCCI could remove the team from the IPL.
At $370 million, Pune Warriors, which entered the IPL in 2011, was the most expensive team. Sahara demanded a fee revision after the number of matches was reduced from 18 in 2011 to 16 last season.
Citing differences with the BCCI, Sahara announced to the media last May that it was pulling its team out of the IPL. But it did not communicate the decision officially to the BCCI.
Dispelling rumours of Kochi Tuskers’ comeback, Kerala Cricket Association president and National Cricket Academy chairman T.C. Mathew said the IPL would be an eight-team affair in 2014