The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian board, Fica on same wavelength

Calcutta: There hasn’t been any communication between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica), but the two are on the same wavelength.

It’s quite a development.

While Fica has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to “clarify” the “exact nature” of its agreement with Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), the BCCI is set to call for the tabling of that very agreement at Tuesday’s meeting of the IDI board, in Colombo.

[The IDI is the business arm of the ICC, while GCC has marketing rights for all events till the 2007 World Cup.]

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the ‘joint’ exercise is aimed at determining “whether somebody” unilaterally inserted “unreasonable restrictions” in the controversial Player Terms. And, if so, why'

The BCCI’s point of view will, of course, be placed by president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is already in Colombo. As for Fica, it has made a formal “representation,” signed by joint chief executive Tim May.

Dalmiya (who was the ICC president till the tender-stage of awarding TV/marketing rights till 2007) wasn’t available for comment, but well-placed sources pointed out that the BCCI’s call will, in effect, be step No.1 towards a review of the terms.

As one of the sources put it: “If, according to the contract, the terms need not be so stiff, then it can quickly be re-drafted. Only when this bottomline is clear should the business of forming a committee(s) be contemplated.”

Incidentally, the “mood” will be known Monday itself, during the ICC executive board’s meeting. After all, the same gentlemen — heads of the ten Test-playing nations plus three Associate nominees and key office-bearers — sit on the IDI board.

As things stand, the ICC’s sponsors (or “commercial partners”) aren’t inclined towards offering concessions — for the 2003 World Cup — on the lines of the on-going Champions Trophy.

Meanwhile, speaking exclusively from Melbourne Sunday afternoon, May revealed the ICC has discriminated against the cricketers.

“For instance, while the team’s sponsor isn’t bound by the 30 days before and after (a tournament) clause on conflicting endorsements, the same concession isn’t there for individual sponsors. There’s inequity,” he remarked.

May added that Fica’s “representation” has essentially made three points (see box).

Significantly, he confirmed the existing conflicting endorsement restrictions will hurt “some Australians” in the World Cup, besides obviously the top Indians.

In fact, South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes, too, is going to have “problems” as his tie-up with Sharp clashes with one of the ICC’s key sponsors — LG.

It will, therefore, be foolish for the powers-that-be to look at the “current controversy” as being India-specific only.

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