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Sahara retains Indian team sponsorship rights

Mumbai: The Sahara Group outbid telecom giants Bharti Airtel to retain the title sponsorship rights of the Indian men’s cricket team till the end of 2013. This could fetch BCCI upto Rs 558 crore.

The Subrato Roy-headed industrial conglomerate will pay Rs 3.34 crore per international match to have their logo displayed on the Team India jersey.

“Sahara India Financial Corporation has been awarded the Indian team (Seniors) Title Sponsorship Rights, for the period 1 July 2010 to 31 December 2013,” BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.

“The BCCI will be paid Rs. 3.34 crore per Test/ODI/T20 International during this period,” the statement added.

Locked in a two-way battle with Bharti Airtel, Sahara’s bid was way above the Rs 2.89 crore per match offer made by the telecom giant.

The amount offered by Sahara could earn BCCI anything between Rs 481 crore to Rs 558 crore in the next three years depending on the number of matches India plays.

Sahara’s original contract with the BCCI expired last year after the company spent Rs 400 crore over a four-year period for team sponsorship.

They came to the BCCI’s rescue when no bids were received for the team sponsorship six months ago and continued their support for the period. Their renewed contract was to expire next month.

Under the existing contract, Sahara was paying Rs 1.9 crore per Test, Rs 2.08 crore per ODI and and Rs 1.56 crore per Twenty20 International, the BCCI said.

The two were the only firms left in the fray, although four others including electronic giants Videocon, had also purchased the bid form.

Sahara and Airtel submitted the requisite security deposit of Rs 50 crore along with the form at the end of deadline while the other firms excused themselves from the race due to the steep base price of Rs 2.5 crore per match.

The Cricket Board had published a tender notice calling for bids for the Indian men’s team, women’s team, India A squad and the under 19 squad and the deadline to submit security deposit ended yesterday.

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