Bangalore: Sahara India withdrew its sponsorship of the Indian cricket team and Pune Warriors on Saturday hours ahead of the IPL auction for season five, after the BCCI turned down the franchise's request that the price of their marqueee player Yuvraj Singh be added to their overall purse for the auction.
"We really feel such one-sided emotional relationship cannot be dragged on any further. We are withdrawing from all cricket under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," Sahara, who chose not to be present at the IPL-5 players auction, said.
Yuvraj is currently recovering from a lung tumour and will be out of action for at least the next six months.
"Yuvraj Singh, who is truly like one of our family members, is, quite unfortunately, passing through a bad phase health wise, undergoing treatment for critical illness, overseas.
"Our duty is to take care of him, so Sahara has decided to pay him his full fee this year with condition as a Guardian that his priority should be health care and he should not play till he has fully recovered," the company stated.
"All other IPL team players, coaches and other such associates will definitely get their due this year, in case they do not get a chance to play."
"Our first entry into IPL was thwarted in 2008 when we were disqualified, owing to a small technicality on the whims and fancies of BCCI. Yet our bid was not opened."
"Last year, Sahara entered the IPL on the basis of information in the media and everywhere else that 94 matches will be played among 10 teams. The bid price was accordingly calculated, but only 74 matches were played. We are still pursuing continuously with the BCCI to refund the extra bid money proportionately. It has been denied on the basis of strict rules."
"In the interest of the tournament, we repeatedly tried our best to pursue the BCCI for open auction of all players so that we achieve level playing field and all teams are equally balanced from the quality players’ point of view. Again, as per BCCI’s strict rules it was denied and again, we were deprived of natural justice. Twelve of the best players were retained by the existing teams then."
"The two new teams then requested for allowing us at least one extra foreign player but that too was denied, quoting rules."
"Once during a World Cup tournament, Sahara’s name was not allowed because there was a clash of our Airline with a South African airline. In two major tournaments, the team had to play without the Sahara logo."
"It was ICC’s decision so we could realise that it was for no fault of BCCI and we also did not want the players to suffer. As per the rules, we were not supposed to pay sponsorship money for those matches but we still paid the players share of the amount in entirety. Sadly, we never found BCCI believing in genuine give and take." Sahara said.