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Lanka cricketers too set conditions for ICC

Colombo: Sri Lanka, hosts of the Champions Trophy, have also put conditions before the International Cricket Council for signing the controversial contract on sponsorship rights, deepening the crisis between players and the game’s governing body.

Former fast bowler Graeme Labrooy, speaking on behalf of the cricketers, said on Sunday that the players would sign the contracts only if ICC agreed to two demands.

He said their first demand was that the players should be given 30 per cent of the guarantee money paid by ICC to the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) for next month’s Champions Trophy in Colombo and the 2003 World Cup to compensate them for loss of sponsorship money.

Their second condition was that the players should be consulted before future contracts, relating to tournaments after next year’s World Cup, were drawn up between ICC and the national cricket boards, Labrooy said. Labrooy, an executive committee member of the Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association, met cricket board chief executive officer Anura Tennekoon yesterday to convey the players’ position.

Tennekoon, who confirmed that the players were yet to sign the contracts, will place the players’ conditions before an ICC meeting in Dubai.

Labrooy said four Sri Lankan cricketers had subsisting contracts for endorsements that might be in conflict with the tournament sponsors. “It is not only that. New sponsors are also coming in,” he said.

Describing the terms as “unfair”, Labrooy said the players were ready to play the ICC Champions Trophy and the World Cup but certainly wanted to be consulted for contracts relating to ICC tournaments after that, and were against the continuance of the present terms till 2007.

He said the Lankan cricketers had taken some time to study the controversial clauses pertaining to sponsorship terms, as they were playing a three-nation tournament in Morocco.

“This should be an eye-opener for the future,” he said, and hoped a solution would be found soon for the crisis.

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