Rediff Logo
Home > Cricket > News > Report
August 20, 2002 | 1435 IST

 -  News
 -  Diary
 -  Specials
 -  Schedule
 -  Interviews
 -  Columns
 -  Gallery
 -  Statistics
 -  Earlier tours
 -  Domestic season
 -  Archives
 -  Search Rediff

 Bathroom singing
 goes techno!

 Your Lipstick

 Make money
 while you sleep.

 Secrets every
 mother should

 Search the Internet

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

We need to have clarity on what we are expected to do: players

The transcript of the letter that the Indian team sent to the BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Dear Mr. Dalmiya,

  1. We reiterate that we, the players, want to represent India in the ICC Champions Trophy and all other ICC tournaments. However, the ICC will not allow us to participate without signing a contract we find unacceptable.
  2. Regarding the ICC player contract, we have expressed the following concerns to the Board:
    1. The Board did not consult us when it signed an ICC events contract in 2000, encompassing the terms of the player contract. Even though it contains significant new clauses granting the ICC control over our commercial rights, the player contract was presented to us only very recently during the NatWest final, thereby not giving us enough time to review its contents.
    2. We have preexisting sponsorship agreements made before we were aware of the player contract terms, and many of which were made before the Board signed the events contract.

      The contract bars us from endorsing and appearing in advertisements for sponsors in competition with ICC sponsors. If we sign the contract, we leave ourselves open to the competing sponsors alleging a possible breach of our contract with them. If we do not sign the contract, the ICC will not allow us to represent India.

    3. Our sponsors who are not official sponsors of the Champions Trophy do not have contracts with the ICC. If they decide to use advertisements that we have appeared in, we may not be able to stop them. In such a case, would the ICC contend that we are in breach of the player contract? The player contract does not make clear what responsibilities we have in such a circumstance.
    4. The ICC restrictions are overly broad, covering not just the tournaments, but thirty days before and after. In the present case, therefore, by simply signing this contract the ICC could already allege breach. In addition, ICC sponsors can use our images for six months after the tournament subject to the terms of the player contract.
    5. The ICC restrictions will not stop competitors of ICC sponsors from advertising during the Champions Trophy. The only restriction is with respect to using cricketers as models. This we believe is unfair, and the stranglehold on us appearing in advertisements or competitive sponsorships, therefore, does not appear rational.
    6. The ICC contract is based on an advertisement agreement that extends through the 2007 World Cup, and therefore would not only affect current players, but those who have yet to represent India.
  3. In your letter of August 17, 2002, you had requested us to sign the contract for the Champions Trophy, with only a possibility of the BCCI taking up the issue with the ICC for the upcoming 2003 World Cup. We believe we are unable to accede to the Board’s request for the following reasons:
    1. 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 this contract the ICC could already allege breach. In addition, ICC sponsors can use our images for six months after the tournament subject to the terms of the player contract. Also this period of six months covers the World Cup in 2003.
    2. We need to have clarity on exactly what we are expected to do. The player contract states in clause 15 that the player shall not "directly or indirectly allow his name, voice, image, likeness or other representation to be used either: (A) in any advertising or endorsement; or (b) for any commercial purpose". You will appreciate that the competitive sponsor has no privity of contract with the BCCI or ICC, and while the player can certainly inform the competitive sponsor and tell it not to air any competitive advertisements, the player has no control if the competitive sponsor does not agree. In fact, in most instances, as is only normal, the competitive sponsors have made their own marketing programs and invested huge amounts in advertising time and newsprint ads, and it is not in the player’s power to simply have them terminate such campaigns. In such a situation what would the player be expected to do?
    3. 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 noncompliance 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. Would the board be willing to compensate us not only for the loss of money we have received for endorsing the competitive products but also against any action that may be brought against us by the competitive sponsors? Until the situation is clarified, we believe that by signing the player contract, we would be put in a position where we would lose the most, and all this because we are now being told of a contract we knew nothing about and impacts us personally and the future of young, forthcoming cricketers in a critically significant way.
    4. Board has given us no clear assurance that the terms of the player contract would be renegotiated to our satisfaction before the World Cup. In fact, we would expect the Board to confirm that unless the terms of the player contract are to mutual satisfaction, the players should not be asked to sign any such contract in the future.
    5. The player contract binds us to provisions contained in the events contract ("Participating Nation Agreement") that the BCCI signed in 2000. To date, we have not even been provided with a copy of that agreement. By signing the player contract we may be exposed to further liabilities and restrictions that we are now unaware of and which may impact adversely our future careers in a manner that is unacceptable.

We do hope you appreciate the predicament that we are being put in. We believe that the correct solution would be for the ICC to go back to the sponsors and explain the situation.

We wish to also inform you that as we are approaching a very important Test match, we would like to concentrate on our cricket and would like to nominate Mr.Ravi Shastri as our spokesperson for the players in this squad to handle issues regarding the above matter.

Yours sincerely,

  • The complete coverage
  • Your Views

     E-mail address:

     Your Views: