The name and the logo of the new IPL Pune team owned by the corporate house Sahara India Parivar was unveiled in a grand ceremony held at the S.P.College ground in Pune on Saturday.
The team has been christened to be known as the ‘Sahara Pune Warriors’. The logo of the team, which is believed to have been taken after the great Maratha warrior Shivaji, is a warrior mounted on a horse along side the shades of the Indian flag. The official website of the Sahara Pune Warriors is declared to be www.saharapunewarriors.com which is expected to in full swing within a couple of month’s time.
The team shall make debut at the fourth edition of the IPL tournament in 2011 along with the other new and already controversial franchise team, the Kochi IPL team.
The Chairman of the Sahara Group, Mr. Subroto Roy, expressing his fondness for the city of Pune at the event said, “It is a moment of great happiness for us to announce the name of the Pune IPL team for the people of the city and cricket enthusiasts across the world.” He further added, “We have just started journey and in the short span the support and affection received from the people here is very heartening and makes me feel that Pune is my second home”.
Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar and director Mahesh Manjerakar were the co-host for the event which was marked by the stunning performance by the Shaimak Davar dance group.
As a part of its promotional activities in the field of sports, Mr. Roy announced financial assistance of Rs. 5,000 for State level players, Rs.10,000 for National level players and Rs. 20,000 for International level players from the city. He further made declarations regarding the various medical and financial support schemes to be extended by the Sahara group for the people in the district of Pune. He also revealed his plan of coming up with an International Sports Academy at the Sahara Group owned Amby Valley project in the near future.
The Sahara Parivar was one of the important bidders at the inaugural auction carried out for the eight IPL teams but lost out then as it fall short of the time limit set for making the bid. However, this time round the Sahara Adventure Sports Group, a sister concern of the Sahara India Parivar, won the Pune franchise for $370 million. They set their bid for three cities, namely, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Pune; and finally zeroed on at Pune as their base.
The home ground for the Sahara Pune Warriors is the MCA Pune International Cricket Centre which is about 25 kms from the city. The stadium, with a capacity of around 55,000 spectators, is currently under construction and is expected to be ready by 2011 to host the matches for the forth season of the IPL.
Author: Meenal Johari (Agra)