The Board of Control for Cricket in India have terminated the contract of Indian Premier League franchise Deccan Chargers.
A statement issued on behalf of BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale stated that concerns over player payments and a "sudden change of stance" by the owners had precipitated the decision.
Jagdale concluded that the termination was justified "due to the absolute inability of the franchise to effectively run the team". Chargers finished bottom of the inaugural IPL, only to win the competition under Adam Gilchrist in 2009.
Their current roster of players include a handful of top international stars who could now be free to pursue contracts elsewhere, including Dale Steyn, Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, Ishant Sharma and JP Duminy.
The official statement, released on Friday night, read: "BCCI was compelled to hold an emergency meeting of the IPL Governing Council late Friday evening to discuss certain developments due to the Deccan Chargers' defaults.
"This evening, BCCI has received a lawyers' notice invoking arbitration from the franchise stating that it had not committed any breaches and even if such breaches were committed, the BCCI should not act to terminate the franchise till Yes Bank Ltd furnishes sufficient finance to cure the breaches.
"By this, Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd has clearly admitted its inability to cure its breaches within the time stipulated in the BCCI notice despite every bit of assistance from the BCCI.
"Since the month of May, BCCI has received repeated assurances that the overdue player fees would be paid; all of these promises have been unfulfilled.
"The Governing Council took note of the sudden change of stance by the franchise and also the fact that any further extension of time would seriously prejudice the interests of the players.
"Considering the stated position of the Deccan franchise to refuse to rectify the various defaults including payments to players, foreign boards etc...a decision was taken to forthwith terminate the Deccan Chargers franchise."
- Deccan Chargers