God and fate-fearing Yuvraj Singh may face an emotional dilemma once he receives an open letter from the Kingfisher Employees Union that urges him not to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, an Indian Premier League franchise owned by Vijay Mallya. The liquor baron, who broke his vault to snap up India's 2011 World-Cup hero Yuvraj for a record Rs 14 crore in this week's player auction in Bangalore, also owns the now grounded Kingfisher airlines whose employees have not been paid their dues for 18 months.
According to India Today, the Kingfisher Employees Union has written an open letter that tells Yuvraj to reject Mallya's offer. The letter states: "Dear Mr. Yuvraj, we all the Kingfisher Airlines employees are your fan and not only us but full nation prayed for your speedy recovery from the critical illness and we are happy that you are not only maintaining your form but also progressing in career. Mr. Vijay Mallya has purchased you for 14 crores ...we have not been paid by the Kingfisher Airlines for the last 18 months.
"We have not only exhausted all our savings but also we are under the burden of huge debts which we have taken from our relatives/banks by mortgaging our property/gold. The case is worse for lower staff those who are forced to stay in slums as destitute. Mr. Mallya says that he does not have money to pay us whereas he is spending crores in IPL/Formula 1/Kingfisher Calendars. It's now up to you to decide whether to turn a deaf ear to us and work for such a cruel/inhuman person and to invite negativity to your life or to refuse his employment on moral grounds." (Related: Yuvi's prayers answered as he hits IPL jackpot)
It is not clear if Yuvraj has seen this letter or reacted to it. After all, the 14-crore deal is perhaps the biggest in Yuvraj's professional career and comes at a time when he trying to revive his international career with Team India. Expectedly, Yuvraj has taken up the RCB job with both hands, even saying that "RCB will be the place where he will be able to express himself" completely as a T20 specialist. (Read full report)
It is learnt that the budget for cricket, F1 and calendars comes from Mallya's 'personal' wealth. Kingfisher has been in a financial mess ever since the high-flying airline was grounded in October 2012. Losses have widened to Rs 822.42 crore in the three months ending 31 December compared with a loss of Rs 755.17 crore in the year-ago period. The airlines, of which Mallya was the chairman and greeted every flier on board with supreme confidence, never made a profit after launching services in 2005.