The Sahara group will continue to sponsor the Indian team and Pune Warriors will take part in IPL 2012.
After hours of discussion here on Wednesday and Thursday, representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Sahara group thrashed out sensitive issues and proceeded towards a positive outcome.
In a joint statement, N. Srinivasan, President, BCCI and Subrata Roy, Managing Worker and Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, said that the BCCI and Sahara had had extensive discussions and were happy to confirm the following:
1. To extend the trading window, due to close on February 17, until February 29 in order to give Pune Warriors an opportunity to have successful negotiations with other franchises as it looked to strengthen its squad.
2. Re-activation of the auction purse of the Warriors so that it can take a number of players, subject to the squad composition regulations.
3. To start the arbitration proceedings initiated by Sahara, through appointment of an arbitrator, to address it's claim for a reduction in franchise fee for 74 matches.
4. BCCI will not have any issues with Sahara seeking a strategic partner in the Pune Warriors franchise, subject to terms of the Franchise Agreement.
5. In respect of the request to sign overseas players, who were not included in the auction register, subject to the relevant player regulations, BCCI agreed to the request subject to the views of all other franchisees.
IPL play-off match in Pune?
6. Sahara had requested for one of the play off matches scheduled to be played in Bengaluru (the right to host play-off matches is awarded to the finalists from previous edition) to be played in Pune. BCCI in principle was agreeable to host one of matches at the new Pune stadium subject to the consent of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
7. BCCI would consider, at the next available opportunity, Sahara's request to furnish Bank Guarantee against the franchisee fee in two instalments.
8. Notwithstanding the recent BCCI working committee decision in rejecting five foreign players in the playing XI, in consideration of the exceptional circumstance and the non-availability of Yuvraj Singh, Sahara has offered to obtain the consent of all the franchises for the submission to the BCCI.
The statement also said that Sahara would continue to sponsor the Indian team and that it may want to exercise its right to assign the sponsorship as per the agreement.
Mr. Roy, in a separate statement, said: “First of all from the core of my heart, I genuinely appreciate all concerned senior officials of BCCI for their initiative to resolve the issue. I genuinely convey my thanks to N. Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley, Sanjay Jagdale, Rajiv Shukla Ajay Shirke and Sundar Raman, the emotional initiative by Shashank Manohar (former BCCI President) and also Shah Rukh Khan.
About our joint statement, one request of ours is not included in it, but BCCI has definitely given us a very positive assurance for looking into the matter seriously in the near future.”
“It's the viewers' interest and they should be given the highest priority. Viewers should enjoy each and every match preferably with a thrilling finish in the last over. That is only possible when all the teams are well balanced. Even two weak teams can start defusing the charm of IPL. So there should be a perfect level-playing field.
“We have strongly requested to go for an open auction without any kind of retention. Due to the policy of retention, a disparity in the player ability and corresponding payment structure is created.”