All Is Well: Sahara back in IPL pack, will continue to sponsor Team India

Truce has struck between Sahara India and BCCI and the Lucknow-based company has decided to come back in the IPL pack and has also agreed to continue with their sponsorship to Team India. The fortnight-long impasse between the Indian cricket board and Sahara India ended in smiles for both parties on Thursday after Sahara had walked out of Indian cricket on February 4, hours before the IPL auction, with a bagful of complaints, say the newspapers report.

According to The Times Of India, the two parties released a joint press statement at 6.51pm, saying they had reached common ground in the interest of cricket. This was after BCCI had laid down a strict line of not offering any special concession to Sahara after Monday’s working committee meeting in Chennai.  The agreement gives Sahara a purse of $3.4 million — up to $1.8 million for getting a replacement for Yuvraj Singh and the rest for other players.

According to the statement,  it was agreed to extend the trading window, which was due to close on Friday 17 February, until Wednesday 29 February 2012 to give Pune Warriors India the opportunity to have successful negotiations with other franchises as it looks to strengthen its squad.

The BCCI has also agreed to let the Sahara group reactivate the Auction Purse of Pune Warriors India so that it can take a number of players, subject to the squad composition regulations, writes The Tribune. An arbitrator will be appointed to address Sahara’s claim for a reduction in franchise fee for 74 matches, the statement said. BCCI said it did not have any issues with Sahara seeking a strategic partner in the Pune Warriors India franchise, subject to terms of the Franchise Agreement.

The BCCI also gave in to Sahara’s demand for allowing it to sign overseas players “who were not included in the Auction Register, subject to the relevant player regulations”. The BCCI said it agreed to the request subject to the views of all other franchisees, the statement said.

The BCCI has also agreed to a request by Sahara that one of the play off matches scheduled to be played in Bengaluru be played in Pune subject to the consent of RCB. Sahara has requested to furnish the Bank Guarantee against the Franchisee fee in two installments; BCCI will consider it at the next available opportunity, the statement said.

Meanwhile on his part, Subrata Roy thanked all BCCI officials and Shah Rukh Khan for going out of their way to break the deadlock, writes The Hindu. “I genuinely appreciate all senior officials of BCCI for their initiative in resolving 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 is highly appreciated. With all his positivity, Shri Shah Rukh Khan ji motivated everybody by going out of his way in the interest of IPL and cricket,” Roy said.