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Pune, bought by Sahara for USD 370 million in 2010, is the most expensive franchise on the IPL

Chennai: Oct 25, 2013

The fate of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors, which has defaulted on its payments to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), would top the agenda when the cricket board’s all-powerful working committee meets at Chennai on Saturday.

Owned by the Sahara Group, the Pune Warriors have been on collision course with the BCCI after the board encashed its bank guarantee due to non-payment of franchise fee.

The Sahara group announced its pull-out from the IPL after that even though that is yet to be formally conveyed to the BCCI, which wants the team to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 170.2 crore to remain part of the league next year.

The BCCI, after reportedly reminding Sahara about the payment several time, is now planning to terminate it from the IPL.

All the governing council members of the IPL have been invited for Saturday’s meeting and the board is expected to issue a 30-day termination notice to Pune Warriors after consultations on Saturday.

Sahara has been demanding the completion of the arbitration proceedings on the issue of franchise fee, which it feels should be lowered since the BCCI did not deliver on its promised number of IPL matches for the team.

The arbitration process has not yet started because of the differences between BCCI and Sahara over the judges to be appointed for it.

Pune, bought by Sahara for USD 370 million (approx Rs 1702 crore) in 2010, is the most expensive franchise on the IPL roster and its termination would cause substantial financial loss to the BCCI.

It would be interesting to see whether the BCCI decides to bring a new franchise on board or trim the IPL to an eight-team affair.

The working committee will be the first since N Srinivasan took charge as BCCI president after weeks of legal wrangling.