No one ready to pay full sponsorship of Team India: Sahara

New Delhi : Sahara India said Monday that no corporate was ready to shell out more than 50-60 percent of the current value of the sponsorship of Indian cricket team.

Sahara, which has said it was pulling out of the team sponsorship over the way it has been treated by the BCCI, said that its chairman Subrata Roy sounded other corporates to see if anyone could fully or partially sponsor Team India.

To his surprise, none was willing to pay more than half of what Sahara was paying now, Sahara said in a statement.

“In the last 3-4 days, Subrata Roy and his team discussed the option of assigning full or partial sponsorship with some corporates. This was done because Sahara has committed to continue to support the Team Sponsorship for 2-4 months till a new sponsor is on board.

“We were very surprised to note that though they were interested in the opportunity, yet (they) were not willing to pay more than 50-60 percent of the current value,” Sahara said.

Sahara accused the Board of Cricket for Control in India of backing out of a commitment to hold a joint news conference to explain their respective views on the issues that led to it withdrawal of its sponsorship of Team India and for pulling out of the ownership of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors.

The Sahara statement came soon after Board president N. Srinivasan told the media in Chennai about the decisions taken at its Working Committee meeting.

While BCCI stated that its hands were tied by rules, Sahara shot back to say that the rules were framed by the cricket authorities. The rules, the company said, had no statutory binding.

“Subrata Roy requested BCCI officials not to elaborate on the rules by saying that any disagreement in sports should be taken in perfect sporting spirit and should be resolved accordingly.

“He further requested the BCCI president and his team that there is no point in quoting the rule book and debating it word by word.

“After all, they were BCCI’s own rules and not some constitutional rules of the government,” he said.

Sahara also complained that it was unfair that Pune Warriors was the only IPL franchise to pay an annual bank guarantee.

“None of the earlier eight teams who entered IPL in 2008 deposit any bank guarantee against franchise fee. Of the remaining nine teams, only Sahara is required to deposit the bank guarantee. Considering that Sahara has never defaulted in last 12 years in any payment that was due to BCCI, this is out and out discriminatory in nature,” Sahara said.

Roy and his team Sunday met Srinivasan, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, board treasurer Ajay Shirke and IPL chief executive Sundar Raman in Mumbai to try thrash out the points of discord.

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