Finally Sahara will continue to be the main sponsor of the Indian cricket team, and will also field their IPL team - Pune Warriors - in Season 5. Had it been someone else other than Sahara, the BCCI would have arm-twisted them, something they have championed over the years. They even tried that with Mr Subrata Roy. Perhaps they took Sahara for granted and underestimated them too.
It pleased me immensely when Sahara had their way, for it's not every day when the Board of Cricket Controversies in India..oops...Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is known for flexing its muscles at the drop of a hat, bows down.
Now do you think the BCCI would have reacted in the similar manner, had it been Kings XI Punjab or Rajasthan Royals? You know the answer, don't you?
There are reports that Shah Rukh Khan played a crucial role in the truce, but the big money that Sahara's exit would cost the BCCI certainly played a bigger role in having them indulge in discussions.
Sahara's exit meant the BCCI would have lost close to Rs 2000 crore, including Team India's sponsorship fee and Pune franchise fee. Now that's not the sum the BCCI would have wanted to lose for the sake of the rules of the constitution that has been drafted by them.
Wisdom prevailed and they chose to blink. Of course for the good of everyone. Although they called it a joint statement and worded it accordingly, the BCCI agreed to most of Sahara's demands and promised to consider the remaining. This was a complete U-turn from their earlier stance where the rejected every proposal that Mr Roy & Co made. It felt good to see Sahara's Gandhigiri defeating BCCI's Dadagiri.
Sahara have been allowed to re-activate their auction purse so that they can purchase players, of course the ones left in the pool. They have also been allowed to have a strategic partner in the Pune Warriors India franchise.
Sahara had requested for one of the play off matches scheduled to be played in Bengaluru to be played in Pune. The right to host the Play Off matches is awarded to the finalists from previous edition, in this case Royal Challengers Bangalore. BCCI has in principle agreeable to host one of the Play Off in the new Pune stadium subject to the consent of RCB.
And most importantly, Sahara have been allowed to pick a replacement for Yuvraj Singh, who is battling cancer in the United States. The BCCI has accepted Sahara's offer that they would obtain consent from other teams to allow them to have five foreign players.
So, when it comes to BCCI, it's all about the money. Isn't it?