IPL team Deccan Chargers goes unsold
Kumar Sangakkara © AFP
Indian Premier League side Deccan Chargers went unsold on Thursday, adding to the woes of the organisers of the glitzy Twenty20 tournament.
Deccan Chronicle Holdings, which had placed advertisements in newspapers last week inviting bids for the cash-strapped Hyderabad-based team, received just one proposal when the bids were opened.
The company "rejected the bid on the basis of the payment terms offered by the bidder," the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which owns the IPL, said in a statement.
The BCCI did not disclose the name of the bidder, how much money was offered, or what the future course of action would be.
Deccan Chronicle Holdings, a media company that bought the team for $107 million before the inaugural IPL in 2008, has been ordered by banks to reduce its debts, according to Indian media.
Among the leading players signed up by the franchise, which won the tournament in 2009 but finished second-last this season, are Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, South African fast bowler Dale Steyn and Australian batsman Cameron White.
The rapid disposal of the Chargers has been widely blamed on economic pressure affecting its current owners, but it also reflects the stormy history of the IPL.
The BCCI threw the Kochi Tuskers out of the league last year over their failure to meet financial requirements.
A separate attempt to eject the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab in 2010 over murky ownership disputes was blocked after a court battle.
The BCCI is already reeling under last month's decision by real estate giant DLF not to renew its contract as the IPL's main sponsor.
DLF reportedly paid $50 million to be the title sponsor for the first five years, a deal that ended with the 2012 edition in March-April.
The IPL has become a major event in the international cricket calendar, attracting the world's most exciting players such Kevin Pietersen to entertain large domestic audiences.
But it has also been hit by a series of financial scandals, and its founder Lalit Modi was sacked in 2010 following allegations of corruption and money-laundering.
The sixth edition of the IPL will be held in April-May next year.
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