Saturday, September 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

ICC bows to players
Denies seeking payment from BCCI

London, September 6
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced that it had reached an agreement with top Indian cricketers which would pave the way for their participation in next week’s mini World Cup in Colombo, but intriguingly added that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had now issued a directive not to negotiate with Indian players any longer.

In a late night twist to the stand-off between the game’s governing body and the Indian board, the ICC said it “had resolved the dispute with the Indian team and that, pending the agreement of one ICC sponsor, it was now up to the BCCI to decide if it wanted its best players to represent India at the Champions Trophy next week.”

The ICC statement announcing the agreement with the players came at the end of a day of public bickerings between it and the cricket board which had stated yesterday that the ICC had sought compensation of upto Rs 130 crore from it to compensate rival sponsors and others in the event India sends a second-string team for the Colombo tournament.

The ICC, however, denied having demanded any compensation but confirmed having sought an indemnity from all participating countries against any claim from advertisers.

Board President Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has summoned an emergency meeting of the BCCI’s working committee in New Delhi tomorrow to discuss the situation, had made it clear that the board would never give any compensation.

ICC President Malcolm Gray said the meeting with the Indian players last evening “had identified a potential way forward” and that all the other countries participating in the tournament had agreed to a compromise, according to tonight’s statement by the ICC.

“The situation today is that following discussions between the ICC and the Indian players, there is now an agreement that is acceptable to both the ICC and the players,” said Gray adding “there have been compromises on both sides.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said the compromise relates to the two key player concerns over the ability of sponsors to use the players’ images for six months after the event as well as a proposed restriction of 30 days after the tournament on players’ personal sponsors that conflict with tournament sponsors using the players images.

“In relation to the six months issue, the reality is that given the sponsor programmes being put in place, no sponsor is intending to use the players’ images in this way and this clause will not become an issue for the ICC Champions Trophy,” said Speed.

Turning to the issue of conflict advertising, Speed said “the 30-day exclusion period after the tournament has been reduced to 16 days which is the day before the start of the India’s second Test against the West Indies.”

“It is longer than the players wanted but shorter than the ICC and its sponsors were seeking. It is a pragmatic solution to a difficult issue,” the ICC Chief Executive said.

Speed said the ICC had now received a directive from the BCCI that it was no longer authorised to negotiate with the players.

“In these circumstances, the responsibility for accepting this agreement now reverts back to the BCCI,” he added.

“Having been instructed by the BCCI to no longer deal with its players, it is now up to the BCCI,” said Speed. PTI

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