Dec. 19: The International Cricket Council today made a “final” offer incorporating concessions on the Player Terms and threatened to slap a substantial compensation claim on the Indian board if it now refused to send the best team for the World Cup in February.
The concessions include a 25-day reduction in the period after an ICC tournament for which the ambush-marketing clause would apply. Under the original clause, the players were barred from endorsing products which competed with that of the official sponsors of the tournament for a period of 30 days before the event, during the event and 30 days after it.
But the clause would now be valid only for five days after the event, the ICC said in a statement.
The validity period of the image clause, under which the official sponsors are allowed to use player images till six months after an ICC event, has also been reduced to three months.
Some more unspecified restrictions have been imposed on the use of player images by ICC sponsors “to avoid any suggestion of a personal endorsement by the players”.
Key functionaries of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be meeting here tomorrow to discuss the “latest developments”.
Though the ICC has agreed to considerably dilute the terms, whatever has been proposed is still short of what was sought by BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya during a special meeting last week.
According to sources, this afternoon’s tele-conference among the World Cup Contracts Committee members, including Dalmiya, probably did not go off well. The issue, therefore, is far from settled. Dalmiya wears two hats — that of the BCCI chief and the contracts committee member.
Dalmiya, it is learnt, will be placing the “latest developments” before the other top functionaries and, depending on their response, the BCCI’s “next course of action” will be decided.
While India’s 30 World Cup probables have already been named, the BCCI has formally communicated to the ICC that the selection of the final 15 will be dependant on the “successful resolution” of the ongoing terms tangle.
But the ICC rejected the BCCI’s request for a seven-day extension to the December 31 deadline for naming the final 15 players and stressed that the “deadlines in place on the BCCI are exactly the same as for all other boards”.
The World Cup Contracts Committee emphasised that the BCCI remained obligated to both participate in World Cup 2003 and to send its best team to the event, the statement said.
ICC president Malcolm Gray said the committee had also advised the BCCI that if it fails to meet its commitments, it could face large compensation claims.
“It is impossible to quantify the level of claims before the event but it is clear that if the BCCI does not meet its obligations and there are damage claims made as a result, the BCCI faces the potential of these claims being made against it for not delivering on its contract,” Gray was quoted as saying in the statement.
The ICC also withdrew a few India-specific concessions in the contracts clause, offered to accommodate the BCCI’s objections, since the Indian board was not interested in those.
These concessions allowed players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to continue promoting companies which are in a conflict of interest with the official sponsors during the tournament except on the days when India was playing a match. But the BCCI had rejected the offer.
“In light of this rejection, the ICC has reverted to the initial series of concessions to ensure that there is consistency across all countries in what is being offered,” the statement said.
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said he was disappointed when this offer was rejected by the BCCI.
“Having offered this additional and significant concession to India, it was disappointing to find ourselves further apart than before,” Speed was quoted as saying in the statement.