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Dalmiya on ICC committee to review Player Terms

Calcutta: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has, finally, moved towards reviewing the controversial Player Terms. This exercise, of course, is aimed at ensuring a problem-free World Cup next February-March.

Towards that end, the board of the IDI — business arm of the ICC, which met in Colombo Tuesday — has appointed a high-profile committee to do the needful.

Among its members is Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, whose “plain talking” during the day probably ruffled feathers.

“It’s a fact I’ve stayed away from committees after completing my term as ICC president (in 2000), but quite a few of my co-directors felt I should keep the larger interest in mind… In the circumstances, it became difficult for me to say no,” explained Dalmiya, when contacted at the Hilton late Tuesday.

Others on the committee are: ICC president Malcolm Gray, president-elect Ehsan Mani, chief executive Malcolm Speed and Australian Cricket Board chief Bob Merriman.

That a review would be undertaken, after the Champions Trophy, was “promised” during the August 31 emergent board meeting in Dubai.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Zimbabwe’s Justice Ahmed Ebrahim (a Match Referee on the ICC’s Emerging Panel) is likely to join the quintet with “voting powers.” If that isn’t worked out, Justice Ebrahim will be designated “special invitee.”

Going by the committee’s composition, the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica) has been totally marginalised. Fica, then, has suffered two blows in less than 24 hours — first being denied a seat on the ICC’s influential cricket committee – management.

Significantly, the members will have access to the closely-guarded “master” agreement between the IDI and the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), which holds marketing rights for all ICC events till the 2007 World Cup.

The committee, as of now, should complete its work by mid-November. However, it won’t be disbanded if that unofficial deadline isn’t met.

Part of the committee’s brief, one learns, is to interact with the cricketers and GCC. If required, the Dalmiyas may also directly “negotiate” with sponsors.

To facilitate its functioning, the ICC will be asking the boards of all ten Test-playing nations to list “specific problems” with the terms and to make available details of individual pre-existing contracts which clash with the World Cup’s sponsors.

The boards are expected to intimate the ICC by “end October.” Incidentally, the committee’s decision will be binding on the IDI/ICC.

Meanwhile, the Sahara issue remained unresolved in Colombo — in other words, the organisation could stick to its stand of pulling out as the Indian team’s sponsor.

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