Can't sponsor BCCI under Srinivasan, says Sahara boss Subrata Roy

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Roy expresses his disgust at the current BCCI office-bearers. The Sahara chief said the Board has mistreated a company that backed Indian cricket for 13 years

Updated: May 24, 2013 21:50 IST
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Sahara India supremo Subrota Roy slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India for failing to honour a relationship that thrived for more than a decade. In an exclusive interview to NDTV on Friday, Roy expressed his disgust at the way the BCCI bosses, led by N. Srinivasan, treated an ally that backed Team India through its ups and downs. Also read: Sahara's pull-out evokes interest from other corporate biggies

Roy was clearly upset with the current set of BCCI officials and even though he did not name him, Roy indicated Sahara will never sponsor Team India as long as Srinivasan was around. "It's really unfair, sad and irritating. The last 13-14 years we had enjoyed such a harmonious relationship, but after that it is so disgusting," he said.

Earlier this week, relationship between Sahara and the BCCI broke after the Board encashed a bank guarantee for non-payment of franchise fee. Sahara are owners of the Pune Warriors team. Sahara had failed to pay an amount of Rs 170 crore by May 19, but the BCCI refused to heed its request not to encash the bank guarantee.

"We never defaulted in the last 13-14 years. We were trying our best to get the arbitration done but that was not happening. My legal team even advised me to withdraw after the start of the tournament but I said this is not sporting," said Roy.

The Sahara chief said Srinivasan ignored his efforts to find solutions. "One should be at least civil, be courteous. I called him numerous time, even wrote to him but he didn't bother to reply. This is not the way to promote a sport," Roy added.

Roy is also upset with IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla. "I met him (Shukla) in Delhi regarding the payment and he promised me that bank guarantee will be safe, but BCCI never kept its promise. We have always replied to their letters and it is wrong to say we never did," Roy said, saying Srinivasan's methods were counter-productive for cricket in India.

Roy's anger can be gauged from the fact that he refuses to put up an IPL team even if it came for free. "In today's environment even if BCCI offers us IPL franchise free of cost we will not take it. BCCI has treated us shabbily for the last three years and our decision will not change overnight."

The silver lining is Sahara will be happy to be back if the BCCI management changes. "We would have pulled out long time ago but for the sake of the players, we will keep our promise to sponsor till December," he added.

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