The future of the Indian Premier League's troubled Deccan Chargers team is likely to be decided by Saturday's meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The cash-strapped team, which failed to pay its players this year, was put up for sale but the lone bid was rejected by the franchise and its creditors on Thursday as the terms were not considered suitable.
Media reports said the bidder was Hyderabad-based finance firm PVP Venture Capitalists.
The BCCI can now either invite fresh bids to buy the franchise, allow the team to be run for one more year by its creditors before a new sale process, or scrap the team and reduce next year's IPL to an eight-team league.
The BCCI last year axed Kochi Tuskers for failing to make its annual payment after just one year in the league, reducing the number of teams from 10 to nine in 2012.
"We found that the party (bid) was acceptable to us," BCCI president Narainswamy Srinivasan said in a statement. "After that it was between the team and the bidder. BCCI was not involved in it. But they informed us that the price and terms were not suitable, so they didn't accept it."
Deccan Chargers, whose prominent players include captain Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, South African pace bowler Dale Steyn and Australian big-hitter Cameron White, is valued at $240 million.
Team owners Deccan Chronicle Holdings may still be allowed to run the team for another season if they are able to pay players' salaries of around $8 million by Saturday.
The IPL, which is looking for a new title sponsor after the $50 million deal with realty company Delhi Land and Finance was not renewed, has a troubled history with other franchises too.
Pune Warriors, added two years ago along with Kochi to the original eight teams, announced earlier this year it was withdrawing from the IPL.
The IPL is also involved in court cases with Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, which were scrapped two years ago over breach of ownership rules before being readmitted on a court order, pending a final verdict.