© Getty Images
There were media reports that some members in MCA were not happy with the amount offered by Star © Getty Images

Mumbai: Sep 16, 2014

The Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) plans to get sponsors for the tournaments under its jurisdiction suffered a setback as media conglomerate Star India, the lone company to evince interest, backed out citing adverse publicity against the deal in the past few days.

In an e-mail to the association today, Star India President Nitin Kukreja said, “We find it deeply disappointing that Star’s sponsorship of MCA has attracted adverse publicity without reason. This is despite the fact that it was MCA that had approached Star for the sponsorship.”

“We accepted the proposal not only as good corporate citizens of Mumbai, but also as supporters of cricket. However, in the view of the fact there is a controversy around Star’s sponsorship, we think it is best that we withdraw from the sponsorship discussions,” he added.

There had been media reports that some members were not happy with a few clauses and the deal amount. Star had offered Rs 1.5 crore to sponsor MCA’s eight tournaments including Harris and Giles Shields.

The MCA has been on the look out for sponsorship for the last couple of years, but some members had objected to certain clauses in an urgent managing committee meeting which took place on Monday to discuss deal in detail.

Some members were not happy with the quantum offered by Star, but MCA vice-president Ravi Savant said there was no loss to the association, as Star’s amount was higher than its tournament expenditure of Rs 1.38 crore.

“We have not done any valuation towards our properties and had asked for Rs 5 crore. Star said they would look into it and offered us Rs 1.5 crore, and this deal was for one year. Only after that we could have assessed what number we can put to our properties. We thought this could be a benchmark for the future,” Savant said.