Sahara's pull out unfortunate: BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Saturday termed Sahara's pull out from sponsorship and the Pune franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as unfortunate and said it hasn't received anything in writing from the corporate major.

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, also a senior member of the BCCI, said it was extremely unfortunate that Sahara decided to snap all ties with the board on the day of the IPL auction.

"It's unfortunate but we have not received any formal notice. But the show will go on. The marketing committee will take a decision. Dialogue will always continue," Shukla told reporters here during the break after the first phase of auction.

The IPL chief executive said Sahara wanted flexibility in the rules, which they were denied.

"It would have been unfair on our part to accept their demands. It would be unfair to other franchises if we bend rules for one team," he said.

Sahara Saturday ended its more than a decade old association with the BCCI citing instances where it has been denied "natural justice" in IPL.

"We really feel such one-sided emotional relationship cannot be dragged (out) any further. We are withdrawing from all cricket under BCCI," Sushanto Roy, managing director, Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, said in a statement.

Sahara's current sponsorship deal with the BCCI is worth at $719,000 per match and will end December 31, 2013. Sahara bid $370 million to become owners of the IPL Pune franchise in 2010. The company has also invested $100 million in Formula One team Force India for a 42.5 percent stake last year.

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