Chennai: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has put the ball in the Sahara Group's court, saying it has conveyed its decision on the week-long stalemate between the two parties to Sahara and is now hoping for a positive response, while reiterating that no exception would be made for them.
However, BCCI president N Srinivasan did say that Sahara would be allowed to seek a replacement within the rules for Yuvraj Singh, who was the skipper of the Sahara-owned Pune Warriors side last season and is currently undergoing treatment for lung cancer.
Top BCCI officials and members of the Sahara Group - which had last Saturday abruptly pulled the plug on its contract as the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team as well as pulled out of the Indian Premier League - had met in Mumbai on Sunday to discuss the content_cnious issues. However, a resolution was not forthcoming and the "outstanding issues" between the two parties were discussed at the board's Working Committee meeting in Chennai on Monday.
BCCI president N Srinivasan told the media afterwards, that "the issues raised by Sahara were placed before the Working Committee today and we have communicated our response to Sahara. We hope that their response will be favourable. It is now up to them and we'll wait to see what their reaction is."
Without revealing the details of what the BCCI had agreed to - claiming it was a private matter to be discussed with Sahara alone - Srinivasan said rules could not be changed for the benefit a particular franchise owner.
"The BCCI has responded positively within the framework of its rules but it is not possible to create an exception because observance of the regulations is important for the integrity of the league."
Sahara, sponsors of the Indian team for over 11 years, decided to part ways with the BCCI on February 4, complaining that the board did not give due consideration to its genuine grievances with regards to players and number of matches in the IPL. The decision to severe all ties with the BCCI was taken just hours before the IPL auction got underway in Bangalore.
The bone of content_cnion was Sahara seeking a replacement for Yuvraj Singh. The franchise wanted that Yuvraj's salary of USD 1.8 million be added to their kitty of USD 1.6 million after they spent USD 400,000 on retaining Sourav Ganguly.
"As per the rules, Sahara can have a replacement for Yuvraj," Srinivasan pointed out, adding that the BCCI would not prevent Sahara from bringing a partner on board to run Pune Warriors.
"We are open to address the issues raised by Sahara in the sponsorship deal. The BCCI will not have any objection to any strategic partner to Sahara also."
Meanwhile, despite India having lost their last eight Test matches overseas, Srinivasan maintained there was no need for a review of the team's dismal performances.
"This is the same team which eight months ago was the toast of India after we won the World Cup. True they lost in England, but when they came back, they had success in India. Again, there was the Test series (in Australia). But we have started the ODI series quite well now, and we won a T20 earlier. I have always maintained that it is not proper to have a discussion on the performance of the team while the tour is still on. I think it is premature to talk of an enquiry. In fact, there is no need for any enquiry at all," said the BCCI president.
"Once the team comes back (from Australia), then the selectors and the coach and others will evaluate what needs to be done further to improve performances, if it is so considered necessary."
In other decisions taken in the Working Committee meeting in Chennai, the BCCI rejected the recommendations made by the ICC's independent governance review, headed by Lord Woolf, claiming they were not acceptable, especially the changes proposed in the management of the ICC.
It was also decided that an Under-19 team will go to Australia in April and that league games of the Ranji Trophy will be played on neutral grounds.