The Sahara India and the BCCI moved a few steps closer to resolving their stand-off on Wednesday. Representatives of the two organisations were locked in a marathon meeting at Sahara’s five-star facility in Santacruz. While there is some way to go before a final decision is taken by Sahara, the vibes were positive.
BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke and IPL CEO Sundar Raman were in discussions with Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s two sons, Sushanto Roy and Seemanto Roy, and Abhijit Sarkar — head corporation communications from 2 pm up to 10 pm. Sarkar, who left midway, said Sahara would issue a statement by tomorrow.
Sahara may take a couple of days before taking the final call but it is learnt that most issues have been sorted out. In all probability, Pune Warriors will be seen in action in IPL V and there is a big chance that Sahara may remain sponsors of the Indian team as well.
Except for the demand of fielding an extra foreigner as compensation for Yuvraj Singh, the BCCI has accepted most of the other demands. More than their demands, it had become a prestige issue for the Sahara boss. With the BCCI going the extra mile to reach a compromise, Sahara seemed satisfied.
While the tone of the BCCI president N Srinivasan might not have appeared conciliatory, he took the effort to get in former chief Shashank Manohar and Shrike to mediate. Sahara group was also more comfortable in dealing with the two as they share a good rapport.
If they withdraw from the IPL, Sahara stand to lose a lot of money. They have already paid the required installment this year as well as the bank guarantee.
Over and above, they have promised to pay all their players their dues. Also, they have invested more than Rs200 crore in the newly-built stadium in Pune, in return for a 20-year title sponsorship, which would have gone waste.