Subrata Roy takes on BCCI

 N Srinivasan-led BCCI has come under heavy criticism from Sahara supremo Subrata Roy ©  PTI

Oct 29, 2013

Sahara’s boss Subrata Roy on Tuesday lashed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), saying if Indian Premier League’s (IPL) rule book was taken into consideration for cancelling the contract of Sahara-owned Pune warriors India, it should also have been used while Chennai Super Kings’ Gurunath Meiyappan was alleged to have been involved with betting issue.

Roy was quoted as saying by the Times of India, “If the chief of any institution can create and allow such bad example like that of Gurunath, how can a body function independently? Had Gurunath been an owner or principal of some other team, what would have happened to that team?”.

He told, “After this example, BCCI has lost the right to take action against anyone. Their whims and fancies are more important to them than anything else. God bless BCCI.”

He added that Sahara won’t continue to sponsor the Indian team after the contract ends on December 31, 2013.

He continued, “They have false egos and high-handedness and the Board will realise how big a financial loss it’s suffering after Sahara pulls out of team sponsorship. I don’t think any corporate would be interested to pay so much money to cricket at a time when there is so much of ego in the cricket bosses, If they would have sat across the table, we would have continued with the Indian team sponsorship.”

Roy also said that bank guarantee money now would be used for charity work.

“Sahara will put Rs 170 crore immediately to a stipend foundation. From this fund, Rs 1 lakh will be paid to around 2,000 poor but meritorious students from across the country. Out of which, a minimum 25 % shall be reserved for the poor students who are doing well in cricket,” he said.

“We will earmark Rs 1,000 crore for other social activities and adoption of house and villages in the country. We will also put 10 eminent sports personalities to track the sports talents.”

On his initial reaction on Pune Warriors India’s contract cancellation, Roy said, “I felt betrayed. Before this year’s IPL, when he asked BCCI to settle the payment issue, which had happened due to a reduction in the number of IPL matches (94 to 74), we were told that the matter will be sorted out.

“But the moment, this season was over, BCCI tactically encashed our bank guarantee. Throughout, they kept harping on the bank guarantee without showing any intention of settling the matter. Even if BCCI wants to rope in another team, it’s unlikely that anybody would be shelling out an amount, which would match even our reduced franchisee fee,” he stated.

Roy further said, “Non submission of bank guarantee is being quoted as a reason for termination because BCCI has to follow the rule book and put up a facade of being legally correct. We wanted to pay the bank guarantee, it is just that we have been insisting at a correct figure of the franchise fee which we would have paid along with the bank guarantee. But the Board was adamant that we continue to pay Rs 170 crore a year and wait for arbitration to settle the final amount.

“This is a trick which the Board has been playing for last three years where they keep telling us to keep playing and wait for arbitration. But the truth is that BCCI hasn’t let the arbitration process begin till now despite their commitments. They have thwarted all our efforts till now. Finally, we had to go to court recently to invoke arbitration,” Roy stated.

Roy alleged that board’s bad attitude would keep companies away from cricket. He said, “Our connection with the game will continue. But for the time being, the attitude of the board will keep the biggest patrons of the Indian sports away from the gentleman’s game for a while. But we will continue to support cricket and cricketers whenever they need us,” Roy opined.