New Delhi, Oct 27 (): The BCCI terminated Pune Warriors from the IPL on Saturday after the Sahara-owned franchise failed to pay its payments and declined to provide the bank guarantee for the next season. The decision to terminate Pune, owned by Sahara, would make the IPL an eight-team affair for the time being.
Cricket Board’s all-powerful working committee took the decision at a meeting, BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said after the meeting. The Pune Warriors have been on crash course with the BCCI after the Board encashed its bank guarantee due to non-payment of franchise fee.
The Board said Sahara was to provide a guarantee of Rs 170.2 crore in March this year but has failed to do so despite five reminders. IPL governing council members also attended the Saturdays’ meeting when the Board issued a 30-day termination notice to Pune Warriors.
For the past six months, the advisors of BCCI have written to Sahara on five separate occasions (April, May, June, August and October) requesting that the bank guarantee be put in place, with the final letter being sent on October 8, 2013. In reply, Sahara again declined to put in place the guarantee as per the franchise agreement.
In order to continue with the preparations for 2014 season, it is important that BCCI now has to certainty check whether the Pune franchise will fulfil the terms of its franchise agreement.
After knowing the continued position of Sahara that it would not deliver the bank guarantee, the working committee decided to terminate the Sahara franchise agreement while taking whatever action was necessary to protect the BCCI position.
Pune, bought by Sahara for $370 million (approximately Rs 1702 crore) in 2010, was the most expensive franchise on the IPL list and its termination would cause considerable financial loss to the BCCI.