The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Image clause on ICC table

London, Sept. 2: Responding to the Player Terms-ball being lobbed back into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) court, via the BCCI, Jagmohan Dalmiya has asked the Indian cricketers to be “specific” about what they actually desire.

An immediate solution to the ongoing imbroglio, therefore, is unlikely and the players may formally call for time to interact with their own sponsors. In any case, despite what was said in Dubai, the South Africans have (going by a late-night development in Johannesburg) refused to sign the terms.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the Indians want the ICC to confirm whether clause 10 of the terms will be applicable should they sign the document and make themselves available for the Champions Trophy in Colombo. Intriguingly, though, they didn’t specify this in their one-page letter to Dalmiya, the BCCI president, earlier in the day.

In his three-page response, Dalmiya has talked about the ICC’s difficulty in conceding “blanket demands” and that the cricketers “have to be more specific for a better understanding by the BCCI as well as the ICC”.

If the ICC agrees to delete that clause — which, among other things, gives the sport’s governing body and its sponsors rights to use the players’ images for six months from the completion of an event — the cricketers will “request” their personal sponsors to respect the terms.

In effect, then, the players’ own sponsors will not be allowed to run competing campaigns both during the Champions Trophy and for a period of 30 days after the September 30 final.

The personal sponsors, who will have to be asked to compromise, are: Samsung (Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh), Coca-Cola (Sehwag), Sahara (Sourav Ganguly) and TVS-Suzuki (Sachin Tendulkar).

Regarding the imaging-issue, Dalmiya has made the following points: “In this context, I would however like to mention that all the participating countries, except India, have agreed to grant imaging rights to the ICC and its sponsors. It may, therefore, be difficult for the ICC to grant a relaxation only for one country. But, I intend speaking to the ICC to ensure that none of the Indian cricketers are called upon for imaging during the Champions Trophy 2002.

“You will appreciate that if no (Indian) player is called upon for imaging, the question of applicability of the relevant clause for six months would not arise at all. This would be the simplest way to avoid problems either for the Indian cricketers or for the ICC.

“I have, of course, not come to any agreement with the ICC in this regard and will not do so unless a confirmation is received from you to abide by the commercial terms and conditions during the 18-day duration of the Champions Trophy as well as 30 days after the event, subject to the provision that the Indian players would not be called upon for imaging.…”

The cricketers’ own letter to Dalmiya included the following: “We appreciate your having put forward the issues affecting us at the (Dubai) meeting. However, we would like to seek some clarity in the proposal which you have made to us in your letter (of Sept.1).

“Pursuant to the discussions between the BCCI and the IDI (business arm of the ICC), you have requested that we should request our sponsors, who are competitive to the sponsors of the Champions Trophy 2002, not to air any advertisements or publish any campaign in newsprint not just for the period of the Champions Trophy (Sept. 12-30) but also for a period of 30 days thereafter.

“In order for us to be able to consider this proposal, we would like the BCCI to confirm to us whether all the other terms, as set out in the Participating Nation Agreement and the Player Terms which are unacceptable to us, would be deleted.

“Once we receive confirmation from you on this issue, we can take a decision and revert to you with regard to the same. We would, once again, like to put on record our commitment to play for our country.”

The cricketers’ course of action, by the way, was decided at a closed-door meeting between the Big Four -- Sourav, Dravid, Sachin and Kumble -- this morning.

Now, they must meet once again to send a specific communication.

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