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August 20, 2002 | 2200 IST

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Shastri dares BCCI to send second-rung team

India's leading cricketers are on a collision course with the establishment after deciding not to sign the agreement for ICC tournaments. On Tuesday evening they dared the Board of Control for Cricket in India to send a second-rung team for the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka next month.

The reaction of the players, currently in England, came shortly after the BCCI's Working Committee decided in Bangalore that India will "definitely" participate in the Colombo tournament even with a second-string team while giving them time till 12 noon on Wednesday to reconsider their decision not to sign the agreement.

"The BCCI can pick and send a second-rung team to Sri Lanka if it wants, but the players will not budge," said their spokesman, former India captain Ravi Shastri.

"ICC will have to budge from its position if it wants an amicable solution to the crisis. All the 18 players of the team [in England] are united on the issue and none of them is going to relent. If the ICC is ready to move back, then we are ready for a dialogue," he added.

BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, in the meanwhile, refused to recognise Shastri as the spokesman of the players, saying his role has not been approved by the BCCI.

"He can give advice to the players but he cannot act on their behalf."

The current Indian team has refused to sign the Players' Terms form, a clause of which requires them to forego their individual sponsorships for a period of one month before and after an ICC tournament in favour of the official sponsors in the event of a clash of interest.

The complete coverage of the contract controversy

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