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August 23, 2002 | 2215 IST

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Aussies want written guarantee from ICC, says May

Faisal Shariff

"The Australians and the English have not agreed to sign the [ICC contract] at this point," Tim May, joint chief executive officer of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations and head of the Australian Cricketers' Association, told on Friday.

Clarifying the stand of the Australian players, May said the willingness expressed by them to sign the contract was subject to the International Cricket Council giving a written assurance that it would consult them and negotiate with their representative before trying to abridge any of their commercial rights.

Moreover, he said, the players' representative would have to be a person of their choosing, not the ICC's.

He said Australian players had made so much progress because the ACA had negotiated terms with the ACB that protected their concerns on major issues such as pre-existing obligations with 'conflicting' sponsors.

The Australian model for resolution is being used in most countries, he said. The model was designed to be usable across nations, particularly in India, he added.

The Australian players have also expressed grave concern about the predicament of their Indian counterparts and strongly urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the ICC to respect their rights.

The international federation together with player associations throughout the world has backed the Indians and offered them all assistance in their dispute with the ICC.

"It seems odd that the ICC, which is responsible for the governance of cricket, would construct player terms for these tournaments that can only preclude some of the world's best cricketers from these blue-ribbon tournaments," May remarked.

While the ICC must protect and enhance revenue streams to the game, surely its primary responsibility is to promote the game and ensure that the best possible players actually play it, he argued.

Promising the Indians all support, May said, "The Indian players will not be isolated. The world's players are fully supportive of their stance and I believe that numerous governing bodies are also sympathetic to their plight."

"I think that it may be the Indian board that becomes isolated," he warned.

The contract row - the complete coverage

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