Wish Sachin to captain & Bachchans to promote Pune team: Sahara

Having missed the opportunity to join IPL in the first round of bidding, Sahara group chief Subroto Roy on Monday said that he would want Sachin Tendulkar to captain the Pune franchise that the group won with a bid of over Rs 1,700 crore.

“Who would not… I certainly would want Sachin to captain if he is available,” Roy, whose group is team sponsor of the Indian cricketing side, said.

Sachin currently leads Mumbai Indians IPL franchise owned by Nita and Mukesh Ambani.

Players are coming up for auction in September for the next three years and key players of any franchise would be available if there was no negotiated settlement between them and the owners.

Roy, who also has a close association with Bollywood, said that he would also consider talking to superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family for promoting his team, which he acquired on Sunday in an aggressive bid against Videocon, Adani and others.

“No human can deny the element of glamour so glamour should be added to these kind of activities, it definitely helps,” he said on ownership of teams by cine stars Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty.

Asserting that he would certainly talk to Bollywood stars for promotion of the team, Roy said that he would also broach the issue with Amitabh Bachchan, who the Sahara group chief is believed to have bailed out in reviving the Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited a few years ago.

“Why not. I have not talked to them yet (Bachchan family). I will talk to him (Amitabh),” he said.

On his rather delayed decision to join the Indian Premier League, Roy said that today the event is the biggest eye-ball catcher than any other event. “The TRP of even India Australia match is lower than IPL matches.”

Explaining his decision not to participate in the first round of bidding for IPL, he said: “We are the team sponsors of BCCI and so emotionally I felt why put our logo on the club level chest. It was an emotional decision.

“Now, the situation is completely different. Our decision (now) is a good combination of emotion and materialism. There is a business (angle) to it.”

Roy said that having won a team, he would now want to make the best of the situation to make a success out of it.

“Right in the first year it will give operational profits,” he said, although admitting that during the first year even the topmost bid of over USD 100 million by the Ambani, was considered very high.

“Now we have bid more than 3-4 times and we consider there is value to it. In the long run, it will be very, very beneficial,” he said, adding that though advantage would go to the first mover, the group would consider all the commercial aspects.

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