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Huge compensation pressure on BCCI

Calcutta: The BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said he was “utterly disappointed” with ICC ’s decisions that were conveyed to him late Thursday evening by the Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.

“The BCCI has been asked to pay damages irrespective of whether it sends its main team, or an alternative squad,” Dalmiya said. Dalmiya stated he had initially expressed his happiness when Speed informed him that the Indian players had agreed not to allow any competitive advertising during the duration of the Champions Trophy (18 days) plus 17 days after the event instead of 30 days — as was earlier prescribed by the ICC.

“If it made the boys happy to abide by the clause for 35 days instead of 48, the BCCI would have no problems and would rather welcome it,” he said. To his surprise, Speed stated the damages would be claimed by the ICC from BCCI whether it sent its main team or the alternate squad.

Speed argued that since “relaxation” would have to be granted to the main players in terms of conflicting advertising, the BCCI would be liable to damages. He also stated the BCCI would be liable to more damages if an alternate squad was sent.

Dalmiya stated in the morning that he had received a letter from ICC president Malcolm Gray, in which there were indications of such damages. “I had immediately replied to that letter, stating that the position was not acceptable to us,” Dalmiya said.

Dalmiya added: “When the ICC itself was involved along with its sponsors (GCC) in the discussion with the players, there could be no question of BCCI compensating for commercial losses, irrespective of the outcome of the discussions.

“If any alteration or modification by the ICC offered to the players with respect to the commercial rights beyond the minimum stipulations agreed in the Dubai meeting led to financial losses to ICC and/or its members, the BCCI surely cannot be held responsible for the same.”

Explaining this position in his letter to Gray, Dalmiya said: “We are sure that the ICC officials would not exceed the scope of their brief during discussion with the players.” In the evening, however, Speed was insistent on claiming damages from BCCI either way. Dalmiya demanded the ICC’s contentions in writing and in the meanwhile, convened an emergent meeting of the BCCI working committee on Saturday in New Delhi.

“Though the damages were not exactly quantified, it was expected to be anywhere between US $ 10 million (Rs 50 crore) as estimated by the New Zealand representative in the Dubai meeting and US $ 26 million (Rs 130 crore) which was the minimum guarantee provided by the ICC sponsors,” Dalmiya said.

He also stated the working committee would have to discuss amongst other things: Whether the damages could be paid, whether the board had the resources to pay such damages and whether the damages payable in foreign exchange would be acceptable to the government.

The BCCI has asked for time and said it would convey its decisions to the world body immediately after the working committee meeting on Saturday.

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