The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to take a final call on the future of Hyderabad-based Deccan Chargers on September 15 in Chennai.
BCCI officials were expected to come up with a plan today to help the team stay afloat in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by helping them find a new buyer. This was the third meeting in the last two weeks. The current owner, Deccan Chronicle Holdings (DCHL), has been under financial stress and is unable to pay salaries to the players. The team had requested the board to help it find a prospective buyer.
A senior BCCI official who attended the meeting said, “BCCI President N Srinivasan is still discussing the matter with the lenders. There are a lot of legal implications, due to which we were not able to take a concrete decision at the meeting. The matter will again come up for discussion at a working committee meeting on September 15 in Chennai.”
According to BCCI officials who attended the meeting, the board might issue a newspaper advertisement inviting bids from the prospective buyers. These bids will close on September 15. Interestingly, this is the time given by the board to the team to sort out the financial liability.
“We are looking at a buyer, who is willing to pay the players’ dues from the last edition of the IPL. In case it doesn’t happen, then BCCI will encash the bank guarantee and pay their dues,” said an official.
The market is abuzz with talk that the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, owned by Anil Ambani and Sun TV, is interested. However, this could not be confirmed.
BCCI has already made it clear that promoters cannot mortgage their IPL team for borrowing money from banks for their other businesses. Deccan Chargers’ owners have been looking to sell their stake for the past two years but are yet to find a buyer. Recently, Religare Capital was appointed to structure a deal. Deccan Chronicle has borrowed Rs 3,200 crore from 28 lenders. Only two private sector banks and one financial services firm had the right on Deccan Chargers’ revenue as collateral against their loans