Wednesday, September 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Indian players consider legal action

London, September 3
Unwilling to budge from their stand that they will not sign the ICC contract, the Indian players are said to be contemplating legal action against the game’s governing body.

If there is no solution to the stand-off between them and the cricketing authorities and if they are consequently omitted from the Indian team for the mini World Cup in Sri Lanka later this month, players may move a court, team sources said.

The effort would be to seek an injunction against the ICC and stop the September 12 to 29 Champions Trophy, from taking place.

Since the ICC headquarters is in London, players have been advised that they have a good chance of securing a favourable verdict from the court.

A senior member of the Indian team said even if they were to stop shy of going to the court, their sponsors would be more than willing to drag the official bodies in court to protect their interests.

“It would be absolutely impossible for us to change our stance at this stage,” said the cricketer.

The players can not understand why they were informed about the objectionable “ambush marketing” clause only in July this year when the matter was agreed upon and signed between the BCCI and the ICC at least 14 months ago.

“The cricket authorities should have taken note of the fact that Sachin Tendulkar was entering into a separate television contract in July — a deal which could impinge on the television rights of the ICC events,” the cricketer said.

The senior cricketer also wondered why the BCCI did not react when a rival electronics company signed up seven Indian cricketers, again putting them at odds with a major ICC sponsor.

“The BCCI had the intelligence to warn cricketers of fatigue and tiredness when they were about to tour South Africa for a commercial shoot in June — but they could as well have cautioned the cricketers their company was in direct conflict with a major ICC sponsor,” he said.

Cricket board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had written two letters to the team yesterday in an effort to persuade them to play in the Champions Trophy promising to sort out the sponsorship issue with the game’s apex body at a later stage.

Dalmiya sent the two letters after the cricketers offered to consider making a concession on the issue of sponsor advertising but stuck to their refusal to sign other terms of ICC contracts.

The players’ anger is turning into bitterness at the way they have been dragged into the controversy, the cricketer said.

The players have reiterated their commitment to play for the country provided certain clauses in the Players’ Terms and Participating Nations Agreement, signed between the ICC and the BCCI, that are unacceptable to them, are deleted. PTI

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