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August 31, 2002 | 2010 IST

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ICC rejects players' offer; gives them more time to sign

K S R Menon in Dubai

The International Cricket Council on Saturday rejected Indian players' offer to play in the Champions Trophy without signing the controversial agreement, but gave them more time to reconsider their decision and reach an agreement 'in the next few days'.

After a marathon six-hour meeting of the executive board, ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed described the Indian proposal as 'not acceptable'.

"There were many suggestions and lots of scenarios. The BCCI president [Jagmohan Dalmiya] sought more time and we granted the same," ICC president Malcolm Gray said.

Describing the meeting as 'encouraging' where 'a lot of progress was made', Gray said Dalmiya also spoke to the players in England during the meeting.

"Eleven of the 12 [participating] teams have either signed or will be signing the ICC contract in the next couple of days," Gray said.

The Indian players have consistently refused to sign the contract, a clause of which requires them to forego their individual endorsements thirty days before and after the event in favour of the official sponsors in case of a clash of interest.

The entire top brass of the ICC and heads of all the member boards attended the meeting.

"Everybody fully appreciated the problem faced by the BCCI. We realised the consequences and the seriousness of the matter," Gray said.

Gray stressed that the 'tournament will go on one way or another'. "But it will be good if all the teams came."

He reiterated that the contract was valid only for the Champions Trophy.

Dalmiya said he was hopeful of finding a solution soon. "I have tried to put across the Indian boys' concerns regarding personal endorsements," he said.

Asked whether he intended to travel to England to thrash out the issue with the players, he said, "If need be, I will travel even to Timbuktoo. But I do not think that is necessary."

About his refusal to talk to players' representative Ravi Shastri, he said, "I have nothing against Ravi Shastri. But this is an ICC contract and hence there was no need for a middleman."

  • ICC contract - the complete coverage
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