Pune withdrawal unfortunate: Shukla

Bangalore: The Indian Premier League authorities today described the withdrawal of Pune Warriors from the IPL as "unfortunate" but said that the cash-rich Twenty20 event will continue.

IPL Commissioner Rajiv Shukla said that he could not react to the withdrawal by Pune Warriors owners Sahara as they have not communicated their decision officially. "It is unfortunate. But we haven`t received anything in writing from them officially. We heard about it only through a a media release. We can react only after they communicate with us in writing. Right now we cannot comment on their withdrawal from the IPL. We don`t have any means," Shukla said at the players` auction here.

Shukla said the Twenty20 event will continue whether Pune Warriors participate or not. "IPL will continue. The show will go on and IPL is not going to stop. The auction of the players have begun," he said.

Sahara`s request to add the amount of USD 1.8 million on Yuvraj Singh, who was not available this season due to injury, to their purse for the auction was rejected by the BCCI.

Asked about this, Shukla said Pune Warriors` request for flexibility in the rules and regulations governing the IPL could not be accommodated as doing that would have been unfair to other franchises. "The truth is that they requested for some flexibility in the rules and regulations. But it would be unfair to other franchisees to conceded to their demands. The IPL rules are very clear that a replacement can be sought for a sick or injured players only within the amount the player had been bid for in the last auction," said Shukla.

Shukla was unperturbed by Sahara India`s threat to withdraw from team sponsorship.
"We will definitely have a discussion witrh Sahara India. If they insist on doing that, we will forward it to the BCCI Marketing Committee which will look into the matter," said Shukla.

IPL Chief Executive Sundar Raman was visibly ruffled by Pune Warriors` sudden pullout from the IPL. "It is very unfortunate that Pune Warriors did not participate in the auction today. There is no rule that they should participate in the auction either. They could field the players they bid for last year," he said.

"We are not sure why they have done this. We are reacting to something that has been released to the media. We will have to seek a way out. The contract terms is very clear," said Sundar Raman. Asked about the future of the Pune Warriors players, Sundar Raman said, "We will look into it once they communicate with us."