Pune Warriors became the latest team to be terminated from the IPL after the BCCI working committee decided to end the Sahara-owned team's tenure with the slam-bang T20 league.
Sahara had refused to pay the bank guarantee of a little over ₹170 crore needed for IPL 2014, leading to the BCCI taking the drastic, but expected, action when their working committee met in Chennai on Saturday.
The trouble began when the BCCI encashed Pune Warriors' bank guarantee in May, after Sahara refused to pay the required franchise fees.
The owners, miffed with the move made by the BCCI, and citing a loss of revenue and promises broken, said they would be pulling out of the IPL from next season.
Sahara chose to ignore the reminders sent by BCCI asking them to pay the bank guarantee soon, with the owners refusing to put in another paisa unless the board agreed to listen to their problems, which chiefly stemmed from the fact that the number of matches promised had not been played in the last two IPL seasons.
The Pune owners, who bid a record $370 million for the franchise, want the arbitration process, which has been stalled due to the fact that BCCI and Sahara cannot agree on the judges, to be completed before any payment of the franchise fees.
However, the BCCI, clearly not amused by the stand made by Sahara, have decided to end Pune Warriors' rather unsuccessful stay in the IPL, by issuing the 30-day termination notice, after also consulting with the IPL governing council, who were also present at the meeting.
While the notice technically still gives Sahara some time to make amends, it looks extremely unlikely that an agreement will be made with both sides sticking to their arguments vehemently.
Pune Warriors are the third team to meet such a fate, with Kochi Tuskers Kerala and the Deccan Chargers also terminated from the IPL.
It also means, the IPL is now back to being an eight-team tournament, unless of course the BCCI decide to auction off new teams.
The BCCI stand to lose a tremendous amount of revenue by deciding to reduce the number of teams and, with it, matches - so a new franchise or even two is still possible.