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August 19, 2002 | 2344 IST

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Indian players refuse to sign ICC contract

Indian cricketers on Monday night refused to sign the agreement for the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka and accused the International Cricket Council of 'boycotting' them.

The players sent a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India explaining the reasons for their decision, which said, "We believe by signing the player contract, we are caught totally in the middle."

"On the one hand, we suffer exposure from the ICC/BCCI when they could allege non-compliance with our obligations. On the other hand, we could face exposure from our competitive sponsors who have paid us for the right to exploit our brand and image commercially," the players said in a press release.

"We have been told that unless we sign a document which forces us to relinquish all our intellectual property and personal commercial rights, we would be ineligible to play for our country in tournaments conducted by the International Cricket Council.

"We are put in a peculiar situation where we are not boycotting the ICC run tournaments but the ICC is boycotting us," the players said.

The players also rejected BCCI's proposal to sign the agreement only for the Champions Trophy, after which it promised to take up the matter with ICC.

"The ICC restrictions are overly broad, covering not just the Champions Trophy but thirty days before and after. In the present case, therefore, by simply signing the contract, the ICC could already allege breach," the players said, pointing out that less than one month remained for the start of Champions Trophy.

"We want to play. We are not asking for anything more than that we have been getting. We are just not being allowed to play much against our wishes," they said.

Complete Coverage of the ICC Contract Row

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