| Gray: India’s best team wanted
London, Dec. 21 (PTI): The International Cricket Council said on Saturday the questions raised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on the Player Terms issue were “out of date and irrelevant”.
The world governing body also made it clear that it was critical that the BCCI acted quickly to fulfil “its contractual commitments to world cricket”.
Welcoming the BCCI decision to call its Emergent General Meeting to discuss the issue, ICC president Malcolm Gray urged the board not to go into “irrelevant” issues which, he claimed, have already been addressed by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed in a letter to the BCCI.
“Putting aside what is or isn’t in various agreements prior to signing the Participating Nations Agreement, the fact is that these matters have been superseded by the latest agreement,” Gray said, emphasising that the BCCI had “knowingly and willingly” entered into this agreement in March 2002.
Gray was replying to BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s charge that the restrictive clauses were included in the original contract draft without the board’s knowledge.
“All details of the obligations on the BCCI and its players were provided to the Indian board on December 21, 2001 in the BCCI’s Participating Nations Agreements. All these obligations were acknowledged and accepted by the BCCI when it signed its PNA on March 13, 2002 without qualification,” Gray said.
“If necessary, the previous agreements will be made available to an appropriate body at an appropriate time after the World Cup but the issue today is the need for the BCCI to meet its obligations and for the best team to represent India in the World Cup,” Gray said.
The ICC had, on Thursday, come out with its ‘final offer’ on the contracts issue. This offer incorporated a series of concessions to ensure the participation in the World Cup of the top Indian cricketers who have been opposing certain restrictive clauses because of their pre-existing contracts with other companies and the heavy financial losses they stand to suffer.
“An Emergent General Meeting of the BCCI to deal with the contract crisis is a welcome step in the right direction and an indication that the BCCI recognises the seriousness of the contractual commitments it has undertaken,” Gray said.
“With the potential of large damages claims being brought against the Indian board if it is unable to meet its contractual obligations, it is important that the organisation is able to get a clear understanding of the facts of this issue.
“It is also important for all the members of the BCCI to realise that the substantial concessions negotiated by the ICC are as far as it can go without undermining the integrity of the $550 million agreement with Global Cricket Corporation,” Gray said.