IPL: BCCI president N Srinivasan and Sahara chief Subrata Roy meet at weekend

first_imgSahara may, after all, agree to return as sponsor of the Indian team. The business conglomerate is said to be still open to the idea and is ready to discuss this along with the Pune franchise issue with the Indian cricket board.Sahara India supremo Subrata Roy and N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), are to meet this weekend to try and see if the two sponsorship issues can be sorted out amicably.This would be the first meeting between the two after Sahara India on Saturday pulled out as the national team sponsor and threatened to withdraw Pune Warriors from the fifth edition of the Indian Premier league (IPL) tournament beginning on April 4.Sahara India’s main grouse is that an adamant BCCI didn’t even consider its “genuine request” to allow them to have an ailing Yuvraj Singh’s purse ($ 1.8 million) at the February 4 player auction.”The two heads are meeting over the weekend. Only Mr Roy and Mr Srinivasan would be present at this face-to-face meeting, which is likely to be held in Mumbai, as of now,” the man who is expected to be present at the meeting venue told Mail Today.”The meeting would most probably be held on Saturday. But if, for some reason, it does not take place on Saturday, it would surely be held on Sunday,” he emphasised.The official also revealed that the Sahara chief would also discuss the sponsorship issue of the Indian team.”The two bosses would discuss both issues – IPL Pune Warriors and the sponsorship. Let’s see how the talks pan out. No announcements would be made by either side before this meeting,” he said. The BCCI Corporate Trophy sponsorship would naturally be discussed too.advertisementIt seems the BCCI has climbed down on the twin contentious issues. This is the only plausible reason that can be cited for Roy agreeing to discuss the team sponsorship too, after announcing the pull out with a “heavy heart” on Saturday.Asked about the delay in the meeting, the official said: “When heads of two bodies have to meet they have to take time out from their busy schedule. Both have been busy so far, in different cities. And now they’ve decided to meet at the weekend.”Sahara was paying Rs 3.34 crore per international match – Tests, One- day International and Twenty20 – and the contract was to expire on December 31, 2013.Since Saturday, both Srinivasan and Roy have spoken in reconciliatory tones, but the latter has been insisting that there would be no second thoughts on the national team’s sponsorship.While terminating the sponsorship on Saturday – stressing that Sahara’s “emotions were never appreciated” by the BCCI – Roy simultaneously announced a Rs 1,000 crores welfare foundation for rural sports, confirming that all doors were shut on the BCCI.Sahara’s buying price of the Pune franchise was the highest of the 10 teams – approximately Rs 1,700 crore. It was added to the IPL in 2010 along with Kochi (Rs 1533.32 crores), which was later scrapped.Since becoming the Indian team’s sponsor in 2001, Sahara has largely paid its dues promptly, and this has been acknowledged by the BCCI too. Minutes of the working committee meeting in January 2008 say that members agreed “unanimously” that Sahara “had made all payments within the stipulated time…”Sahara came to the BCCI’s rescue in 2009 when it failed to attract a single bid after raising the tender base price to Rs 3 crore.After its previous contract ended on December 31, 2009, Sahara agreed to the BCCI’s offer of an extension of six months, till June 30, 2010. Then Sahara raised the per-match payment to Rs 3.34 crore in a renewed contract that was to end on December 31, 2013.last_img