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August 19, 2002 | 1140 IST

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Selectors to meet again over contract row

India appear ready to send an under-strength squad to next month's Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka if the country's top players do not sign a disputed ICC contract in the next two days.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will hold an emergency meeting of its national selectors on Tuesday hours after an important working committee meeting, BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said on Sunday.

The BCCI move follows the refusal by India's top players to sign the contract by a Saturday deadline, despite lengthy discussions during the past week with the squad members who are currently on a test tour of England.

"We have to be prepared for any eventuality," Shah told Reuters from Rajkot.

Top Indian players are against a clause barring individual commercial endorsements during any ICC event seen to be in conflict with the business interests of authorised sponsors.

The clause would be in effect for 30 days either side of ICC tournaments like the Champions Trophy and next year's World Cup in South Africa.

The ICC has told the players to choose between representing their country and making money, but the dispute is threatening the September 12-29 Champions Trophy in Colombo.

Shah said: "The players have not rejected it point blank, but they are saying they have to hold consultations.

"But we have to set some deadline, the matter cannot be kept hanging.

"We have to keep our options open," he said.

The national selectors have already chosen a 14-man squad but the board has not announced the names because of the row.

The Indian players have argued that signing the ICC contract could jeopardise their lucrative personal endorsement deals.

Players like Sachin Tendulkar and test captain Saurav Ganguly promote several products and stand to lose substantial sums if they give up some of their endorsements by agreeing to the ICC stipulations.

Domestic media have reported that the BCCI asked the players to sign the contract on an assurance that it would take up the issue with the ICC before the World Cup.

The ICC Contract face-off: The complete coverage

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