Sahara were left seething after the BCCI decided to ignore their bids for the Indian cricket team's sponsorship rights, with the Indian board instead deciding to award the honour to Star.
Subroto-Roy led Sahara, who have been the Indian team's sponsors for 12 years, actually bid a higher amount than Star to have their names on the various Indian teams' shirts, but the BCCI, keeping in mind the acrimony that has risen over the past year or so with the now defunct Sahara-owned Pune Warriors IPL team, unanimously decided to render the business empire's bids null and void.
The result of that decision was Star India winning the bids by default as they were the only other party to make an offer.
Expectedly, Sahara was far from happy with BCCI's move. "They [BCCI] simply wanted to ridicule us and give it to Star," Sahara spokesperson Abhijit Sarkar said. "They have not only devalued the deal but have done it by cheating us.
"They themselves are saying we've never defaulted on any team sponsorship payment and there is no dispute, then how did they find us ineligible?"
For Star it is another coup, with the bigwigs already holding broadcast and internet rights, while they are the title sponsors till the end of 2013.
Having rebranded in a grand style recently, Star will now just look to grow from strength to strength as they look to leave the rest of the competition trailing in their wake.
"Star India Pvt Ltd have been awarded the Team Sponsorship Rights covering BCCI Events, ICC Events and ACC Events, for the period 1st January 2014 to 31st March 2017," the BCCI said in a media release.
"Rights include the right to be called the "Official Team Sponsor," and to display a commercial logo on the team clothing of the Sr. Men's Cricket Team, the U-19 Men's Cricket Team, the Men's A-Team and the Women's Team."
"Star is the title sponsor for BCCI international and domestic matches for the period October 2013 to 31st March 2014, as well as the Holder of the Broadcast, Internet and Mobile Rights of cricket in India, for the period July 2012 -- March 2018. Star has a deep understanding of the game of cricket, and what it means to the nation. We are pleased to extend our association with them," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel added.
The deal is worth around Rs 203 crore, with the bid per match at around Rs 1.92 crore. Sahara claim they bid Rs 252 crore for the sponsorship rights, which is obviously considerably more than Star's offer - although both bids are well below the previous sponsorship deal, held by Sahara, who were paying Rs 3.34 crore per match.
However, with Sahara defaulting in their payments for their IPL franchise Pune Warriors, which led to the BCCI expelling them from the tournament, the country's cricket board decided to go with Star, whose deal begins from January 2014 till March 2017.
"Star is delighted to become the Official Sponsor of the Indian cricket team. It's a team of brilliant talent and we are proud to be associated with them. This is further endorsement of Star's deep commitment to Indian cricket and Indian sports in general," CEO of Star India Uday Shankar said."