Just when the IPL authorities seemed to be getting to grips with the termination of the Kochi franchise, the sponsors of the team that took shape with it last year have threatened to walk away, leaving a bigger set of players in the league concerned for their future and financial prospects.
It appears the Pune Warrior India players had no inkling that their big-time backers Sahara were about to pull the plug as they took part in a camp in Lucknow under bowling coach Allan Donald with mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton also present.
A Sahara official said players’ interest would be taken care of but the pullout left a shocked Aussie batsman Mitch Marsh tweeting, wondering what happened to his team. Sahara want the BCCI to find a new sponsor for PWI as quickly as possible, with the cricket board yet to sort out the mess that terminating the Kochi team has left.
As Saturday’s auction concluded, one of the franchises appeared to enquire about the Pune Warriors players and IPL CEO Sundar Raman replied: “Pune are still a franchise.”
There is still some confusion over whether players will get their full dues after the termination of Kochi franchise.
The BCCI had said it would compensate the ex-Kochi players financially but threw prompt settlements in doubt by asking players to sue the defunct team for dues. Ten of the 15 ex-KTK players were purchased in the auction.