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August 24, 2002 | 1244 IST

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India not to follow Aussie model: Niranjan Shah

India is unlikely to adopt the Australian model in their attempt to solve the contract row threatening to devalue next month's prestigious ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka.

"We have received some documents from Australia," said Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

"We are studying the material, but the problems of the Indian and Australian players are different to a large extent.

"So it's unlikely that we will be able to use their model as a template for our negotiations," he said.

Australia reached an agreement with its players on Thursday to reduce fears of a mass boycott of the September 12-29 Colombo tournament and the International Cricket Council has urged other boards to use their guidelines as a model for negotiations.

Top Indian stars, including Sachin Tendulkar and captain Saurav Ganguly, have refused to sign the contract because of an "ambush marketing" clause which prevents them from endorsing products of rival companies 30 days either side of ICC events.

The Australian cricket board has offered their players compensation for any sponsorship money they would lose as a result of the contract.

But an Indian board official, who did not wish to be named, said that considering the huge sponsorship deals of some top Indian players, the same would be "unthinkable" for the BCCI.

The ICC has remained firm in its resolve to retain the "ambush marketing" provisions for their events, including next year's World Cup in South Africa.


The provisions could lead to top Indian players, with lucrative personal sponsorship deals, losing millions of dollars if they signed the document.

"Cricketers in Australia and other countries don't have big sponsorship contracts like they have in India," Shah said.

"Whatever documents Australia has sent us are welcome but it's unlikely the Australian resolution with the ICC will be used as a template for us because the problems might not be the same."

Players from Australia, England and South Africa said they did not have any direct sponsorship conflict for the Champions Trophy tournament, but had refused to sign the document because the ICC deal was valid until 2007.

Shah said the Indian players' main problem with the contract was an "images clause", which allowed official ICC sponsors to use player images from a tournament in their advertising campaigns for up to six months after the event.

"Our players have expressed serious concerns over the images clause," Shah said. "We are hoping for a solution which can address their problems, otherwise there will be no option but to send a second string team (to the Champions Trophy)."

India has already shortlisted 25 unnamed probables for a weakened team for the tournament. The final 14 are expected to be picked soon.

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