The BCCI on Saturday made it clear that rules would not be bent for any IPL franchise but it would still reach out to aggrieved sponsors and Pune Warriors owners Sahara India "as soon as practicable to clarify its intentions."
Sahara on Saturday ended its 11-year-old sponsorship of the Indian cricket team and also gave up its ownership of Pune Warriors, saying that some of its genuine grievances were ignored by 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.
"If we understand Sahara Adventure Sports Limited's statement, it intends not to participate in the 2012 IPL Auction or in the 2012 IPL Season," the statement added.
Sahara had requested that since its marquee player Yuvraj Singh would not be able to play the IPL due to a lung tumour, its purse for Saturday's players' auction be increased.
"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. Whilst all within IPL and BCCI have a huge amount of sympathy for Yuvraj Singh and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery, it is unable to vary the Player Regulations," the BCCI insisted. The Board said Sahara could have picked a player during the transfer window after the auction instead of asking for bending of rules.
"The rules are very clear and are consistent with previous seasons - Sahara Adventure Sports Limited may take a replacement following the 2012 Auction," the Board said.
"Additionally, the Trading Window will re-open on February 6 and Sahara Adventure Sports Limited will then have a further opportunity to take new players. In the first four seasons of IPL, other franchises have been obliged to cope with the periods of unavailability of their players and have taken replacements as per the regulations."
"The BCCI cherishes its relationship with all the IPL Franchises. The rules are applicable to all of them," it added.