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Friday, February 17, 2012

Sahara pullout may cost BCCI dear

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan is losing control over the game. Since taking over BCCI in 2011, he has alienated senior players, lost its domestic broadcaster, scrapped an IPL team and entered into a protracted legal battle with two other franchises-Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. On February 4, he was on the verge of losing Indian cricket's most consistent backer, Sahara India, who threatened to walk out of IPL and a Team India sponsorship over not being allowed extra money to bid for a replacement for ailing Pune Warriors captain Yuvraj Singh. Sahara India spends Rs 560 crore on Team India's sponsorship and Rs 1,720 crore on its IPL team, Pune Warriors. Its withdrawal will punch a big hole in BCCI's annual revenue of Rs 4,000 crore and put a question mark over the continuance of the Board's cash cow, the Indian Premier League (IPL). Season 5 begins on April 4.

Srinivasan had to call veteran Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, to mediate between him and Sahara India chairman Subrata Roy. Dalmiya will now meet Roy on February 12 at Mumbai's Sahara Star hotel along with ipl Chairman Rajeev Shukla. bcci will try to convince Roy to change his decision. Roy, it is reliably learnt, has agreed to retain his Rs 1,720 crore investment in the IPL team but he is scrapping the Rs 560 crore sponsorship of Team India. "We will not let a good partner walk out in anger," said Shukla.


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