Warriors quit scandal-hit IPL as owners say they are 'disgusted' by Indian Board
Pune Warriors have pulled out of the IPL after their owners Sahara said they were 'disgusted' by the attitude of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The Warriors finished second bottom of the 2013 IPL even though they are the most expensive franchise in the competition's history after they were bought for £243 million in 2010 by Sahara.
The dispute stems from the amount their owners paid for the team, which was based on there being 18 matches in each season. In 2011, the first year Pune competed, each team only played 14 games.
Big names: West Indian Marlon Samuels featured for Pune Warriors in the 2012 and 2013 IPL
Sahara asked the BCCI to reduce their valuation price, and therefore the bid price, because of the reduction in games, but nothing came of this, causing increased friction between the two parties.
Pune were originally pulled out in 2012, with only emergency talks with the BCCI stopping this eventuality actually taking place. This time, though, Sahara have released a statement saying that they will not perform a U-turn again.
They say that the BCCI have been paid the annual fee that is guaranteed to them from each franchise, on this occasion around £20 million, and that they waited until after their participation in the tournament ended before bringing their feelings public.
An extract from their statement said: 'Considering all the disgusted facts mentioned above now we would not keep the IPL franchise even if the entire franchise fee is waved off. It is the firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL.'
Shocked: Former South African fast bowler Allan donald is the coach of the Warriors
Sahara also sponsor the Indian national team, and have said that they will not be renewing their contract after December 2013, but will give the BCCI until then to find a new backer.
'There is a very strong urge in us to withdraw from the Indian Cricket
Team Sponsorship from today only. But, interest of the players will
suffer if we do so.
'We share an excellent relationship with the players
and will not want such dedicated and good human beings who serve the
country so committed to get harmed financially due to unsporting
attitude of BCCI.
'So we have given time to BCCI to get the new sponsorship in place from January 2014, as we will continue the national team's sponsorship only up to December 2013 that's the expiry date of the present agreement.'
Warriors coach Allan Donald reacted to the news by saying to ESPNcricinfo: 'This is a massive surprise to me, I'm
shocked because we had spoken, not in great detail but loosely, about
prospects for next year.
'The owners were really upbeat for next season and the next three years because next year we'd have new contracts, new players. We spoke about the possibility of building a culture within the team.'
Controversy: The IPL has also been hit by spot-fixing allegations
The IPL was also rocked last week when a spot-fixing scandal involving three Rajasthan players, including former Indian test player Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, came to light
Fans came out in the numbers all around India to condemn the players who are alleged to have found ways to delay play while bets were placed.
Pune finished second bottom of the IPL, winning just four of their 16 matches and managed to avoid the wooden spoon because of Delhi's dreadful season.
Chennai Super Kings came top of the group stage and will battle it out with the Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2013 title.
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