Sahara back as Indian cricket team's sponsor

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: Sahara and BCCI have reached an agreement paving the way for the corporate behemoth’s return as Indian cricket team’s sponsor.

Sahara had severed ties with the Board and withdrawn the Team India sponsorship on February 4, will return as a sponsor following the truce which brought an end to the 12-day stalemate.

The move means that Sahara will be a part of IPL 5 as BCCI has more or less acceded to its maximum demands regarding IPL players auction and bank guarantee issue .

According to a joint statement issued by the parties, BCCI has reactivated Pune Warrior’s auction purse, allowing them to pick players from unsold list along with extending the trading window for the 2011 IPL season.

Pune can also seek a replacement for their star batsman Yuvraj Singh subject to the consent of other IPL teams.

As far as the bank guarantee issue is concerned, BCCI has communicated to Sahara that it will consider the matter at the next available opportunity.

BCCI-Sahara joint statement

BCCI and Sahara have had extensive discussions over the past few days and are happy to confirm the following:

BCCI took note of the various requests of Sahara and has agreed to the following:

• 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.

• Re-activation of the Auction Purse of Pune Warriors India so that it can take a number of players, subject to the squad composition regulations.

• BCCI and Sahara agree to start the arbitration proceedings initiated by Sahara through appointment of an arbitrator to address Sahara’s claim for a reduction in franchise fee for 74 matches.

• BCCI does not have any issues with Sahara seeking a strategic partner in the Pune Warriors India franchise, subject to terms of the Franchise Agreement.

• In respect of their request to sign overseas players who were not included in the Auction Register, subject to the relevant player regulations, BCCI agrees to the request subject to the views of all other franchises

• Sahara has requested for one of the play off matches scheduled to be played in Bengaluru to be played in Pune. The right to host the Play Off matches is awarded to the finalists from previous edition, in this case Royal Challengers Bangalore. BCCI is in principle agreeable to hold one of the Play Offs in the new Pune stadium 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.

• Notwithstanding the recent working committee`s decision of rejecting 5 foreign players in the playing XI, in consideration of the exceptional circumstance and the non-availability of Mr. Yuvraj Singh, Sahara has offered to obtain the consent of all the franchises for the submission to the BCCI.

• BCCI, in line with its normal practice, will continue to engage with all franchises to find ways to enhance the competitiveness of the league and improve the fan experience.

Sahara has confirmed that it will continue sponsorship of the Indian team. Sahara may want to exercise its right to assign the sponsorship as per the agreement.

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