Sahara Group will continue with Team India as sponsors for 3 and half more years. They won this race against Bharti Airtel by winning the contract for Rs. 3.34 crores ($ 719,000) dollars per match.

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Sahara India Pariwar, the existing title sponsor of the cricket team, bagged the rights for a 42-month period beginning July 1 at Rs 3.34 crore per match. Bharti Telecom, the other bidder, had quoted Rs 2.89 crore per match.

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India will play between 144 and 167 matches during the tenure depending upon its progress in ICC tournaments. So, at Rs 3.34 crore a match, the Sahara deal is worth between Rs 481 crore to Rs 558 crore

The bids were opened on Monday during the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) marketing committee meeting at the body’s headquarters in Mumbai. With the reserve price pegged at Rs 2.5 crore per match, the eventual selling price surprised even the BCCI office bearers.

"We anticipated around Rs 2.75 crore per match," a BCCI official told HT, requesting anonymity.

"The bonus will help us create better infrastructure."

Though the BCCI made the tenders available last Monday, Sahara waited till the last day before submitting its bid. With group head Subroto Roy having said Sahara would "reconsider" its approach towards the Indian team after bagging the Pune franchise of the IPL, Sahara’s late entry had raised doubts over the company’s continued association with the team.

"We waited till the last minute to save on some money. Had we made our intentions public earlier, the valuation would have obviously gone up and we could have had to shell out as much as Rs 600 crore."

Sources: Google, Hindustan Times, cricinfo

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