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Friday, February 17, 2012

BCCI floored by Sahara and Vijay Zol – who ??

It was always on the cards that BCCI & Sahara would patch up soon..   before you read about the patch up, Maharashtra teenager Vijay Zol is one of five Indian youngsters signed up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the upcoming IPL season – and what is in that.

There was some drama on the day of IPL 2012 auction – Feb4, 2012 when Sahara India Parivar announced its severing ties with the Indian Cricket Sports body BCCI – that left the Pune Warriors not participating in the auction.  There were allegations and counter-allegations but it was clear that Board could not do without the opulent cash that Sahara was pumping in.  Rounds of meetings were held thereafter, after some tough posturing, impasse, now [Feb 16th] comes the news of patch up.

For those who were worried, IPL 2012 will have Pune Warriors playing and Sahara continuing its sponsorship of the Indian team.  BCCI has given in to the demand of restoration of auction  purse of $1.6 million and the licence to buy players who were not sold at the auction and also foreign players who were not part of the auction.  The other sops include - extension of the trading window till the end of February, the possibility of being allowed more than the norm of four overseas players (subject to the agreement of the other franchises), and an arbitration process to decide on their demand for a concession in the franchise fee.  It perhaps is raining Sahara way as they seem to have earned the right to stage one of the IPL play-off games subject to the consent of Royal Challengers Bangalore, the original hosts and the  BCCI  is also considering  Sahara's request to furnish a bank guarantee for its franchise fee in two installments.

Sahara in a qualified statement has stated  "Sahara may want to exercise its right to assign the sponsorship as per the agreement," implying the possibility of Sahara sub-letting the rights.  Sahara chairman Subrata Roy, while welcoming the agreement, said  that their request for  an open auction in 2013 had not been acceded to. The truce comes three days after a meeting of the BCCI's working committee at which almost all of Sahara's requests were turned down.

Vijay Zol, the Maharashtra teenager  recently scored  an unbeaten 451 in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy and has immediately earned a IPL contract – signing up for  Royal Challengers Bangalore for the upcoming IPL season. The youngster can now brush shoulders with Kohli, Gayle, Vettori, De Villiers, Dilshan, Zaheer  and more.  The Royal Challengers had seven vacancies in their squad including one overseas player after the player auctions on February 4. Apart from Zol, they  included left-arm spinners KP Appanna and J Syed Mohammad .  The two other slots went to allrounders Karun Nair from Karnataka and S Thiagarajan from Tamil Nadu.

Zol's score was higher than Bhausaheb Nimbalkar's landmark 443, the highest first-class score by an Indian, set in 1948 during a Ranji match between Maharashtra and Kathiawar.  Zol, a left-hand opener, took nearly 11 hours, faced 467 deliveries, and hit 53 boundaries along with two sixes in his outstanding innings and could have gone to make more but for the declaration at 763 for 4.  This innings of his was more than doubled his previous career-best score of 222. That double-century came against Gujarat in the leagues stages of last year's Vijay Merchant tournament. Perhaps Indian  cricket might hear and see more of Zol in future not only in IPL but in bigger versions as well.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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