Sahara Group today sought to defend its decision to not furnish the bank guarantee to the BCCI which led to the termination of Pune Warriors from the IPL, saying that it was forced to do that as the Board "has always acted in betrayal of trust and not fulfilled its part of obligations".
Sahara Group said the "arbitrary" reduction in the number of IPL matches by the BCCI from the number stipulated in the franchise agreement was at the centre of the whole dispute.
"BCCI had made pre-bid representations that 94 matches will be held in every season and then arbitrarily reduced the number of matches from 94 to 74 & then 76. Sahara had placed its bid for IPL franchise based on the representations of BCCI which were false," the Sahara group said in a release.
"The reduction in the number of matches has had a substantial financial impact due to the reduction in the central revenues under the Franchise Agreement. Sahara had raised the issue regarding significant reduction in the number of matches which was one of the most important basis and criteria for the bid, since 2011," it said.
"BCCI did not want to honour their promises. Therefore due to non fulfilment of reciprocal obligations of BCCI and failure to keep its promises as given in February 2012, Sahara was left with no option but to hold back the Bank Guarantee till promises and obligations were fulfilled. But instead of fulfilling its promises and obligations, BCCI went ahead and terminated the contract, though itself is in breach."
With a defiant Sahara group refusing to furnish the requisite bank guarantee, the BCCI today decided to terminate Pune Warriors from the IPL after a meeting of its all-powerful working committee in Chennai.
Sahara said the BCCI's act of terminating Pune Warriors from the IPL for non submission of bank guarantee was a desperate measure to cover up its (Board's) non compliance of promises and obligations.
"The issue raised by BCCI in creating grounds for termination as non submission of Bank Guarantee seems like a desperate measure to cover for their non compliance of promises and obligations." "Sahara has paid over Rs 1000 crore as Sponsorship fee for the Indian Team to BCCI since 2001 without any default ever. This is apart from the Franchise Fee for Pune Warriors which Sahara kept on paying since Year 1 despite being given false assurances of justice," Sahara Group