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Cup truce signal from London

Jan. 21: India’s leading cricketers will be allowed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to play in next month’s World Cup despite changes in their Player Terms contracts, a source close to the negotiations said.

The sign of a thaw in the ICC, which has been under intense pressure to accommodate India’s best team, came on the eve of a key Delhi High Court ruling. The Delhi court is scheduled to deliver its verdict tomorrow on a petition filed by former players, including Kapil Dev, seeking removal of hurdles towards fielding the best team.

The source said in London, where the ICC is based, that both sides in the dispute between cricket’s world governing body and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will call a truce during the February 8 to March 23 tournament.

But he added that India’s World Cup cut of $8 to 9 million would not be released by the ICC until the dispute is resolved.

The source warned that if the BCCI failed to pay any compensation arising from the altered contracts, the board would be suspended from the ICC and become a rebel.

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is now in Delhi, said tonight: “The talks had been on but, at this point, I have no comment to make.”

The World Cup Contracts Committee will formally tell the ICC’s management board on Friday that India’s players be allowed to take part on their own terms.

Indian cricketers had objected to the ICC terms which prohibit players from endorsing non-official sponsors during as well as specific periods before and after the World Cup.

The source said the extent of damages would be settled by arbitration. Sources in India said such issues might be settled only after the end of the World Cup.

The London source said the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, a venue previously suggested by Dalmiya for resolving the dispute, could be used.

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