The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ICC looking to avoid arbitration

Mumbai, Sept.20: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking to resolve the India-specific Player Terms row without engaging in arbitration. This was strongly indicated by an official this afternoon.

“We’ve already indicated that to the Global Cricket Corporation (GCC), our commercial partner... After all, the longer the issue of claims drags, the more harm to the ICC’s functioning... Today, we’ve got to look ahead and devote our entire energy towards expanding the game,” the official told The Telegraph.

Arbitration is an option listed in the ICC’s tie-up with the GCC. Signed in the summer of 2000, the deal is effective till the 2007 World Cup.

The GCC, it may be recalled, has sought the equivalent of over Rs 200 crore as damages arising out of the Indian cricketers’ conditional acceptance of the Player Terms in this year’s World Cup. Of course, the ICC — actually, the IDI Ltd, its business arm — has itself contested that claim.

[The GCC has also asked for damages owing to England’s refusal to play in Harare and New Zealand’s decision to skip their Nairobi match. The amount, though, is in the region of Rs 10 crore only.]

While the GCC hasn’t yet reverted to the ICC after the latter ‘challenged’ the sum being sought, an informal dialogue has definitely been on. “We’ve spoken fairly regularly and a meeting is possible early next month,” the official pointed out.

That interaction could be significant as the ICC/IDI Executive Board meets in Barbados at the end of October. For the record, India has been calling upon the ICC to “immediately” release the $ 6.5 million guarantee money held back because of the GCC’s claim. In fact, the ICC has been asked to pay interest as well.

Significantly, should the GCC scale down the damages’ figure, it’s possible that the Executive Board may decide on all members accepting liability. “That can’t entirely be ruled out. But, yes, everything will depend on what actually is eventually claimed,” the official remarked.

The good thing, for now, is that everybody is convinced about “moving ahead.”

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