New Delhi: India’s cricket board on Monday invited fresh bids for a four-year deal to sponsor the national team, lowering its asking rate per match from Rs3.5 crore to Rs2.5 crore.
“We obviously had to reduce it to Rs2.5 crore per match because when we priced it at Rs3.5 crore a match, no one came,” said N. Srinivasan, secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Srinivasan said the board had been wrongly advised on the “realistic value” of the base price.
The board had invited bids in November as Sahara India Pariwar’s four-year contract was due to expire in December. But no bidders came up due to the high base price, forcing the board to extend Sahara’s contract by six months. The extension ends in June.
Sahara’s contract, signed in 2005, was initially worth Rs313 crore. But a spokesperson earlier told Mint that the company eventually paid Rs435 crore as BCCI added more matches than scheduled.
A person closely associated with cricket sponsorship said the base price is more realistic now and a couple of his clients may be interested.
Abhijit Sarkar, a Sahara spokesperson, said the firm is yet to pick the bid documents. “We have not yet decided whether to bid (or not).”
BCCI’s earlier base price of Rs3.5 crore each for nearly 240 matches to be played in the next four years was expected to land a revenue of Rs700-800 crore, much higher than what Sahara had paid.
The bid document is available for a non-refundable fee of Rs5 lakh. BCCI officials could not confirm the number of bid documents sold on Day 1.
Srinivasan hoped bidders would start picking up the tender documents from 25 May.
The tender is also seeking sponsors for the women’s cricket team, the India A team and the Under-19 team.
The tender notice said bidding parties need to fulfil the eligibility criteria as specified in the bid document, and that BCCI reserves the right to cancel or amend the entire bidding process at any stage.