Calcutta: The BCCI will not pay any damage to the ICC or its sponsors in the ongoing contract controversy. Jagmohan Dalmiya had said Thursday the world body was threatening to extract hefty compensation from the Indian board and in a letter on Friday, he made his stand clear.
The following are excerpts:
“I had seen a copy of the media release issued by Brendan McClements on behalf of ICC on 5 September, 2002 and was surprised with the contents. Before I deal with the contents of the media release, I would like to review the latest factual position. Put in simple language, two options are available:
A. BCCI welcomes the arrangement arrived at between ICC and the Indian players to vary the Player Terms for the Champions Trophy 2002. But BCCI will have to be categorically assured that there will not be any claim for damages of any nature on it for the Champions Trophy. If there are claims from ICC’s sponsors, commercial partners, agents, successors, assigns etc, the same will be the responsibility of ICC and BCCI will not be called upon to pay the damages. In a nutshell, there will be no claim of ICC on BCCI and no claim of BCCI on ICC.
B. In spite of agreeing to the arrangements stated in paragraph A, BCCI is still exposed to the damages that may arise out of the claims made by the sponsors, commercial partners, agents, successors, assigns etc of ICC.
“If a letter of assurance as stated in Paragraph A is given by ICC to BCCI, the matter is within my competence as the BCCI president and I could advise the board secretary to release names of Indian players for the Champions Trophy, consisting most of the players currently in England, within an hour’s time.
If, however, the ICC is not willing to give the letter of assurance and if BCCI is exposed to potential damage claims, the matter goes beyond my competence and the final outcome would have to be decided by the BCCI working committee at an emergent meeting on September 7 in New Delhi.
“Yesterday (September 5), BCCI received a letter from ICC President Malcolm Gray that stated: ‘I expect compensation or damages claims will be made by sponsors because of the lack of opportunities the sponsors have been able to exploit due to the lack of certainty surrounding the tournament.’
“In your letter to me dated September 5, you observed: ‘Accordingly, they (IDI Board) were unable to give a categorical assurance as requested by you that there would be no claim for compensation against any of the members as a result of the events that have preceded the Champions Trophy.’
“Yet, the ICC media release states: ‘The ICC today categorically denied reports that it is seeking compensation from the BCCI… Reports in India have suggested that the BCCI has been asked to pay the compensation to the ICC... This is totally untrue... Any suggestion of compensation is purely hypothetical.’
“The release further says: ‘BCCI sought this undertaking (for blanket indemnity) from all other countries playing in the tournament.’ As far as the BCCI is concerned it has not asked any country to give any undertaking. This kind of reporting to the media is not quite ethical.
“On one hand, the ICC president maintains: ‘I expect compensation or damages claims will be made by sponsors.’ On the other hand, the ICC release says: ‘Any suggestion of compensation is purely hypothetical.’ What do I call this Malcolm' Jugglery of words'”
The BCCI president clarified Indian players were apprehensive as a result of restrictive clauses in Player Terms, there may be monetary claim on them by their individual sponsors. Dalmiya added if there was any such claim, the BCCI “would take the responsibility of meeting the financial liability arising out of such personal endorsements.”
Dalmiya added following a suggestion from BCCI, at least two of the four Champions Trophy sponsors had agreed to exempt from ‘imaging’ those Indian players who did not have contracts with them.