Bangalore: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday termed Sahara's pull out from sponsorship and the Pune franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as unfortunate but said rules can't be bent for one franchise.
Sahara on Saturday ended its more than a decade old association with the BCCI citing instances where it has been denied "natural justice" in IPL.
"During the last few days Sahara Adventure Sports Limited has requested that IPL vary its Player Regulations by allowing it to increase its Auction Purse from USD 1.6m to USD 3.4m in light of Yuvraj Singh's unfortunate illness," Sahara has said.
In response, the IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, also a senior member of the BCCI, said it was extremely unfortunate that Sahara decided to snap all ties with the board on the day of the IPL auction.
"It's unfortunate but we have not received any formal notice. But the show will go on. The marketing committee will take a decision. Dialogue will always continue," Shukla told reporters here during the break after the first phase of auction.
The IPL chief executive said Sahara wanted flexibility in the rules, which they were denied.
"It would have been unfair on our part to accept their demands. It would be unfair to other franchises if we bend rules for one team," he said.
The board secretary Sanjay Jagdale also issued a statement confirming Sahara's decision to snap all ties with the BCCI.
"We understand that Sahara Adventure Sports Limited has issued a statement in which it indicates an intention to withdraw from its involvement in Indian cricket, including as regards the Indian Premier League. We intend to contact Sahara Adventure Sports Limited as soon as practicable to clarify its intentions," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement.
Sahara's current sponsorship deal with the BCCI is worth at $719,000 per match and will end December 31, 2013. Sahara bid $370 million to become owners of the IPL Pune franchise in 2010. The company has also invested $100 million in Formula One team Force India for a 42.5 per cent stake last year.