London, Aug. 31: While rejecting the Indian cricketers’ offer of conditionally signing the Player Terms, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has given them “a couple of days” to consider making themselves available for next month’s Champions Trophy in Colombo.
However, a formal deadline has not been set by the ICC’s executive board, which met in Dubai today.
Should the cricketers sign the existing terms, the ICC has committed to “reviewing” its contents. If the players stick to their current position, though, they risk being “boycotted” by ICC members who have Test and one-day status.
The Indians, who arrived here this afternoon (from Derby), will now surely have a closed-door meeting to discuss the latest from the ICC. “At this moment, it’s too early to say anything.... Let us first talk amongst ourselves,” remarked one of the seniors, when given the Dubai-update by The Telegraph.
Now that the ICC is committed to reviewing the terms — albeit after the Colombo tournament, by October 31— it won’t surprise if our cricketers, too, relent. That is a strong possibility and will allow the BCCI to field the “best team”, as desired by the ICC.
It’s when the “best team” issue came up that BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya asked the ICC to “work out ways” to make it possible. That’s how the “couple of days” bit was arrived at.
Being a former ICC president, Dalmiya still has considerable influence.
The boycott-motion, however, would have been passed today, had Dalmiya not objected to its placement without the directors being given the “mandatory notice:. Now, this will be taken up at the next meeting, probably immediately after the Champions Trophy, in Colombo.
The ICC wants a boycott of all players who stay away from ICC tournaments on account of “commercial considerations”. Clearly, this is a pressure tactic.
Actually, with all remaining 11 participating nations (including South Africa) declaring that their cricketers have either signed/or agreed to sign the terms, the ICC got emboldened to adopt an aggressive stance vis-a-vis India.
So much so, one understands the players’ willingness to being bound by the terms during the duration of the Champions Trophy (September 12-30) only, was “quickly thrown out”. For now, then, no personal endorsements/advertisements (which clash with the ICC’s own sponsors) will be allowed till 30 days after the final.
Dalmiya, who leaves for home later tonight, should initiate a fresh “dialogue” with the cricketers within hours of landing in Calcutta. His solitary comment, from Dubai, was: “The ICC has asked our players to undertake what I’d suggested a fortnight back... In any case, it has now committed itself to a review..."