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SBD Global/October 29, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Board Of Control For Cricket In India Terminates Contract With IPL Side Pune Warriors India

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has terminated the contract of Indian Premier League side Pune Warriors, according to Vijay Tagore of the MUMBAI MIRROR. The IPL, once a 10-team league, has now "been reduced to eight teams." The termination was a "culmination of six months of sabre rattling, legal battles and ego-clashes between the BCCI and Sahara Adventure Sports, the parent company of the Pune Warriors." The decision was taken at the "working committee meeting of the BCCI, which had also invited the members of the IPL governing council." The cause of the problem was the "BCCI's demand for a bank guarantee which Sahara refused to submit." Sahara instead "insisted on arbitration." After the Bombay High Court "refused to give injunction on demand" for a bank guarantee worth Rs 170 crore ($31.6M), the BCCI "activated its legal team." A letter was sent as recently as Oct. 8 but Sahara "stayed defiant demanding arbitration." The BCCI said, "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" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 10/27). The PTI reported Sahara Group on Saturday "sought to defend its decision to not furnish the bank guarantee to the BCCI," which led to the termination of Pune Warriors. Sahara Group said that it was "forced to do that as the Board 'has always acted in betrayal of trust and not fulfilled its part of obligations.'" Sahara Group said that the "arbitrary" reduction in the number of IPL matches by the BCCI "from the number stipulated in the franchise agreement was at the centre of the whole dispute." The Sahara Group said in a statement, "BCCI had made pre-bid representations that 94 matches will be held in every season and then arbitrarily reduced the number of matches from 94 to 74 & then 76" (PTI, 10/26).
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