No sponsors pull out from Indian Premier League

Debunking reports that some sponsors and partners were thinking of pulling out of the high-profile Indian Premier League, its chairman Lalit Modi on Friday said not only all of them were firmly on board but a lot of others were waiting to jump on to the Twenty20 bandwagon.

“I want to make it amply clear that all our sponsors and partners are still on board. They have all paid as per the schedule. In fact, a lot of other sponsors have approached us and are willing to pay more than our existing ones,” Modi said at a hastily arranged media conference.

Modi also hailed the decision of the Supreme Court on Friday to reschedule the elections for the faction-ridden Rajasthan Cricket Association, headed by him, from February 22 to March one under the unamended constitution as a vindication of his stand.

The Apex Court said that the elections will be held under the unamended constitution of RCA as per its directions given on February 11, 2005.

Reacting to this development, Modi said, “My stand gets vindicated. All the illegalities done by the other group by changing the constitution have been set aside by the Supreme Court. I’m extremely happy.”

Modi said that the resignation of Kunal Dasgupta as the CEO of Sony Corporation, IPL’s broadcast partner, will not in any manner affect the conduct of the Twenty20 event scheduled in April-May.

“It’s an internal matter of Sony Corporation. He (Kunal Dasgupta) is a personal friend of mine. He was deeply involved in developing the IPL concept. But the organisation, whether it’s Sony or IPL, is bigger than any individual. There’s no question of Sony pulling out,” said Modi, who is also BCCI vice-president.

He also rubbished reports that title sponsors DLF have paid and will pay only 50 per cent of what they had agreed upon in a five-year deal worth Rs 200 crore.

“All these are mere speculations and none of our sponsors want to leave us. All of them have also paid us what they have to pay so far. We have had offers from many more at multiple prices for some of the properties,” Modi added.

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