The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Conditional signing enough’
- BCCI chief not opposed to arbitration

Calcutta, Jan. 11: A day after the Indian players signed the controversial World Cup Player Terms conditionally, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) declared Saturday that the ICC can’t stop India from fielding its strongest team.

Pointing towards the fact that teams violating some of the clauses can get away with forfeiting points and coughing up compensations, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya argued the same must apply for India.

“Teams like England and Australia will just be penalised and their points deducted if they don’t play in Zimbabwe, which also amounts to refusing to accept the full set of clauses. If inspite of that England and Australia are allowed to field their best sides, what prevents us'”

Dalmiya’s argument in this case is clear. Not accepting any of the clause means breach of contract, irrespective of what the clause is about. “If team A gets away with a fine, another can’t be treated differently.” He has seen some discrepancy here and is trying to make most of it.

“Following this logic, the ICC doesn’t have the right to stop us from fielding our first side. We are extremely keen to participate in the World Cup and there is no clause to prevent a team from participating even if it has signed the Player Terms conditionally,” Dalmiya reasoned.

Dalmiya added the BCCI will honour the ICC deadline of submitting the signed Player Terms to the IDI by January 14, though they are strongly opposed to two of the 22 clauses: A) Concerning the restriction on players for appearing in commercial rivals of the ICC sponsors. B) Concerning imaging.

Dalmiya admitted the issue may well be settled at the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne. “As I’ve said, it’s time to test the legality of the ICC clauses. Solicitors of the ICC and BCCI have started corresponding.”

The BCCI president also said that talks are on with three of the ICC’s main sponsors with huge stakes in India — Pepsi, LG and Hero Honda. These three have been approached to relent, and Dalmiya informed he expects at least two of them to come up with something “positive”. Hero Honda is expected to be one of them.

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