"We take pride in sponsoring the Indian national team," Abhijit Sarkar, corporate affairs head at Sahara, said. Read more...
In the end, only two players, Sahara Group and Bharti Airtel, submitted bids for the right to sponsor the Indian team. Both Sahara, the existing sponsors, and Airtel bought the tender document at the last possible minute before the submission deadline, and Cricinfo has learnt both companies have submitted the mandatory Rs 50 crore (US$10.7 million) deposit required by the BCCI.
The Indian board issued the tender on Monday inviting companies to bid for the rights, whose tenure is three-and-a-half years beginning July 1, 2010. Other companies in the fray included the ADA Group (ADAG), consumer electronics major Videocon, Delhi-based Monnet-Ispat, sports broadcaster Nimbus, which owns the rights to matches played in India, and advertising firm Percept.
A source close to Nimbus said the broadcaster was approached by ADAG on Saturday morning, as its top brass was reluctant to commit as much as Rs 400 crore (US$ 85.6m) on its own. Nimbus, meanwhile, was trying to put together a consortium to bid for the rights, but was unable to pull it off due to the short time-span - less than a week - between the date the tender was released and the date the bids were submitted. "They released the tender on Monday and all the bids need to go in by Saturday, which is just about four working days by the time the tender was in hand. That is not very easy to work out when you are trying to get people to commit to Rs 400 crore."
It was reported widely that the BCCI was against consortiums bidding for the rights, but one of the interested players, who was among the first to pick the document, said that the board never had any issues there. "They had sent a clarification stating they did not want any marketing agencies to be part [of the consortium]."
The BCCI has set a base price of Rs 2.5 crore per match for a three-and-a-half year period, during which India will be playing between 144 and 167 matches, depending on how far the team progresses in the ICC tournaments.Read more...
The Indian squad for next month's Asia Cup in Sri Lanka will be picked in Delhi on June 7, BCCI sources said on Saturday.
The national selection panel, headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth, is expected to name a full squad after giving a break to several senior players for the ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe.
The four-nation tournament is to be held in Dumbulla with hosts Sri Lanka clashing with Pakistan in the opening tie on June 15.
The final is to be held on June 24 with a reserve day fixed for June 25. Read more...
Former captain Shoaib Malik will be available for Pakistan in next month's Asia Cup and tour of England after a judge Saturday recommended lifting his ban for disciplinary offences.
Earlier this year the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) banned Malik from the national squad for one year and fined him two million rupees (23,270 US dollars) for breaches of discipline while on tour.
The PCB also punished six other players who took part in the tours of the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia, particularly after Pakistan lost all three Tests and five One-day games in Australia in December-January.
The punishments were referred to a retired judge for review, with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt telling a parliamentary committee last week that his board would accept any of the judge's findings.
PCB lawyer Talib Rizvi told AFP on Saturday that "the arbitrator Justice Irfan Qadir has lifted the one-year ban on Malik and has also halved the fine on Malik to one million rupees."
Along with Malik, allrounder Rana Naved was also banned for one year and fined two million rupees. Former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were banned for indefinite periods, while Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal were fined heavily.
Younus's appeal was also heard on Saturday but after arguments between the tribunal and Younus's lawyer Ahmed Malik Qayyum, the hearing was adjourned until June 5, Rizvi said. Read more...
Final: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians at Mumbai - April 25, 2010
Chennai Super Kings won by 22 runs
Chennai Super Kings 168/5 (20/20 ov);
Mumbai Indians 146/9 (20/20 ov)
Chennai Super Kings become the winner of IPL 2010
3rd Place Play-off: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Deccab Chargers at Mumbai - April 24, 2010
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 9 wickets (with 37 balls remaining)
Deccan Chargers 82 (18.3/20 ov);
Royal Challengers Bangalore 86/1 (13.5/20 ov)
Royal Challengers Bangalore has qualified as the third team after Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings for the Champions League 2010 to be held at South Africa