BCCI terminates Pune Warriors IPL contract

Chennai, Oct 26 (IANS) The Working Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Saturday "unanimously" decided to "terminate" its contract with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors.

"The BCCI Working Committee discussed the situation regarding the default by Sahara Adventure Sports ("Sahara") in not submitting the bank guarantee of the Pune franchise of IPL for the 2014 season," BCCI said in a statement.

"As per the terms of its franchise agreement, this bank guarantee was due for delivery in March 2013, more than six months ago.

"Given Sahara's continued position that it would not deliver the bank guarantee, the Working Committee unanimously determined to terminate the Sahara franchise agreement, while taking whatever action was necessary to protect the BCCI position."

Sahara Parivar, owner of Pune Warriors, announced the pulling out of its team from the IPL in May this year after the BCCI decided to encash the bank guarantee of 2013 season owing to the non-payment of franchise fee.

The franchise fee has been a bone of contention. In 2010, Sahara had bid Rs.1,700 crore for the new franchise for a period of 10 years. The bid was made, according to its statement, on the basis of revenue that could be generated from 94 matches per season that had been originally envisaged.

This was reduced to 64 matches that year, following which Pune Warriors asked BCCI to reduce the bid price proportionately to make it a more viable proposition for them.

Discussions ended in a stalemate, following which Sahara announced its withdrawal from the league in 2012. The two parties then agreed to arrive at a solution and started an arbitration process towards this end. However, the question of the franchise fee remained unresolved.

"Over the last six months, the BCCI's advisors have written to Sahara on five separate occasions (in April, May, June, August and October) requesting that the bank guarantee be put in place, with the final letter being sent on 8 October 2013. In response, Sahara again refused to put in place the guarantee as per the franchise agreement," the statement added.

"In order to proceed with the preparations for the 2014 season, it is important that BCCI now has certainty as to whether the Pune franchise will comply with the terms of its franchise agreement."

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