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Cricket: No takers for Team India sponsorship

It may seem hard to believe, but it’s true. There are no takers for the Indian cricket team’s jersey logo. 
In a huge setback for the richest cricket board in the world (BCCI) – which had floated the tenders for the logo on November 2 – the last date of submission (November 24) has arrived, with not a single bid being tendered.

According to sources in the board, the interested parties were supposed to deposit a security amount of Rs 50 crore by November 22, two days before the actual date of submitting the bid. When no one came forward till Sunday evening, the BCCI was forced to call off its marketing committee’s meeting, slated to be held in Mumbai on November 25, where the bids were supposed to be opened.

This sudden apathy of India Inc could be due to lack of interest in the overexposed game and also because of the high base price being demanded per match.

BCCI is seeking Rs 3 crore for each Test, ODI and T20 match. From 170 international matches India are expected to play in the coming four years, BCCI was hoping to raise at least Rs 510 crore from the deal. Of course, the bid amount would have been much higher.

The current sponsors, Sahara India, have paid around Rs 400 crore over the past four years for the team’s jersey logo.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but we hope to get a sponsor soon,” a top board official, who didn’t wish to be named, said on Monday.

The BCCI is now planning to float new tenders, where the base price for Test, ODI and T20 matches will be lowered. The current logo sponsorship with Sahara ends on December 31, 2009 and if the board doesn’t get a new sponsor within a month or so, BCCI will be forced to continue with Sahara for some more time.

“We can’t tell when the board will float the tenders again, but the marketing committee will meet soon to take a fresh look at the situation,” another senior BCCI official said.

It was reported that the high base price of the matches came as a dampener for prospective sponsors. In fact, even some multinationals, who normally would have grabbed the opportunity, have decided to stay away for the time being.

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