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August 19, 2002 | 2100 IST

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Dalmiya says he 'supports'
the players

Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya said he is "sympathetic" to the cause of the Indian players but urged them to sign the agreement for the Champions Trophy as a one-off measure in order to break the deadlock in the sponsorship row with the International Cricket Council.

"I have absolutely no problems with the players. I understand their view point and am quite sympathetic to their cause," Dalmiya said over phone from Kolkata on Monday.

"But my position as BCCI chief is very different. I want to keep the channels of communication open between the ICC and BCCI. I want to ensure that India is not suspended for non- fulfillment of its commitments," Dalmiya said in his first reaction on the controversial issue.

"What I am trying to tell the players is 'let us fulfill our commitment for the Champions Trophy and then we will sort out things'. I am only trying to find a solution to the whole issue," he said.

The players have stuck to their stand of not signing the agreement, which requires them to forego their individual endorsements, one month before and after the tournament, which clash with the interests of the official sponsors.

The BCCI has convened its Working Committee meeting in Bangalore on Tuesday to discuss the issue but Dalmiya sought to clarify that there is no confrontation between the board and the players.

"You must have noticed that in the last few days I have maintained silence on this subject. This is because I have nothing against the players... because I support them... I am with them," he said.

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