Sahara Pune Warriors pulls out of IPL

New Delhi: The scandal-hit IPL on Tuesday suffered yet another blow with the Sahara Group-owned Pune Warriors India withdrawing from the cash-rich event due to BCCI's decision to encash the team's bank guarantee followng a prolonged financial dispute.
Sahara, which bought the franchise for Rs 1700 crore in 2010, said it was "disgusted" by the BCCI's attitude towards it and will not rejoin the league even if the entire franchise fee was waved off, giving a new twist to the already troubled league which has seen a spate of controversies since its inception.
"…we would not keep the IPL franchisee even if the entire franchisee fee is waved off. It is firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL," the Sahara Group said in a lengthy statement which expained the reasons for their pull-out.
Sahara said it was peeved by BCCI's failure to initiate arbitration proceedings to lower their franchise fee despite several reminders.
"In 2010, Sahara had bid 1700 crore for IPL franchise on the basis of revenue calculation on 94 matches. It was tricky on part of BCCI to put the number in media as 94 matches for getting bigger amount. But we got 64 matches only," it added.
Sahara claimed that the BCCI turned a deaf ear to its pleadings for arbitration and reducing the franchise fee.
"We and Kochi Team immediately protested and requested BCCI to reduce the bid price proportionately for viable IPL proposition. Nothing was heard. We waited with confidence that such a sports body should have sportsmanship spirit," it said.
"We continuously requested BCCI for Arbitration from June 2011. But BCCI is only concerned about money and not about the genuine interests of the franchisee. Thus, (when) we could not penetrate BCCI's deaf ears, we announced our withdrawal in February 2012," it added.
Reacting to the development, IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said enchasing the bank guarantee were done as per rules.
"Yes, it (Pune Warriors) has pulled out. As per the rules and procedure of the BCCI if a franchise fails to pay the fee then we encash the franchise's bank guarantee. We are extremely sad by their decision to pull out. This should not have happened," Shukla said.