Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who returned to the city Sunday from Dubai, started the process of discussion with the Indian cricketers in London almost immediately and also addressed a letter to the team through skipper Sourav Ganguly.
The following is the full text of the letter:
“This refers to the correspondence exchanged between you through the captain of the Indian cricket team and the Board dated 29 August 2002. Your letter was forwarded to the ICC. Its contents were reiterated and the viewpoints of the players were presented in the meeting of the Board of Directors of ICC Development (International) Limited (IDI) held on 31 August 2002 at Dubai.
“During the meeting, BCCI took the pains of explaining that the problems faced by the Indian players were unique in nature. Sponsorship contracts and players’ endorsements are available to the Indian players from Indian as well as multinational companies that run into millions of dollars, especially in view of the buoyant market of consumer products in this part of the globe.
“It was also mentioned that privileges of such magnitude were not available to the players of other countries in the world. It was, therefore, stated that the dilemma of the Indian cricketers should be appreciated and their viewpoints should be given special consideration.
“It was also pleaded that the Indian players were not stubborn, as it was amply exhibited in their letter dated 29 August 2002. In their letter, they had categorically stated that they were willing to participate in the ICC Champions Trophy 2002 and would request their sponsors (who were competitive to ICC sponsors) not to publish or air any campaign during the 18-day duration of the event from 12 to 30 September 2002.
“The ICC stated that views of the BCCI could not get prominence unless the problems of ICC were sorted out. They also observed that the players of all countries have signed or agreed to sign the “Player Terms” for the Champions Trophy 2002, with the sole exception of India. The problems pertaining to privileges of individual cricketers could only be looked after, if the commitments of the apex body are met and the right atmosphere is created for mutual discussion.
“The ICC categorically stated that the Player Terms for Champions Trophy 2002 would have to be signed by all players. The ICC Board had agreed that if the Indian players agree to sign and comply with the Player Terms only for the Champions Trophy 2002 (even though other countries may have signed upto 2007), ICC would meet with BCCI to have discussions on issues of player endorsements and sponsorship contracts for future ICC events.
“On BCCI’s demand that a specific timeframe should be established for such discussion, the ICC had agreed that the discussions could take place after the conclusion of the Champions Trophy 2002 and before the end of October 2002.
“BCCI had requested for a confirmation of this arrangement in writing, as this would help BCCI in its smooth working. The request was met and a letter dated 31 August 2002 was received from ICC, a copy of which is enclosed.
“It is pertinent to mention here that there was a unanimous decision to hold the Champions Trophy as per schedule (12 to 30 September 2002) and that all countries should participate in the event, under any circumstances. It was of course preferred, as far as possible, the teams should participate with full strength.
“It is, therefore, necessary for you to consider that should you wish to participate in the Champions Trophy 2002, you would have to abide by the commercial terms and conditions, not just for the duration of the event (as was suggested by you), but also 30 days after the event.
“No deadline was set by the ICC for naming the final squad because it felt that there was hardly any time to set deadlines and voluminous work with regard to logistics etc, had to be attended to. Therefore, your immediate response in the matter is requested for.
“The last but not the least, as the BCCI President, I have a word of advice. Since your viewpoints with regard to sponsorship contracts and player endorsements have been well-received by the ICC, it would be befitting to respond positively only for the Champions Trophy 2002. You have already agreed in principle to abide by the commercial terms and conditions for the duration of the event (i.e. 18 days), you should agree to abide by the said terms for the period upto 30 days after the event.
“This would pave the way for the congenial discussions and may also lead to achieving permanent solutions to the problems.
“Since the time is rather short and for reasons explained above why there was no time to set deadlines, your immediate response in the matter would highly be appreciated.”