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August 3, 2002 | 2230 IST

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SA cricketers agree
to sign contract

Just a day after refusing to sign the International Cricket Council contract, the South African cricketers reversed their decision following an agreement with their cricket board and will play in the Champions Trophy later this month.

United Cricket Board of South Africa Chief Executive Officer Gerald Majola said on Tuesday the players agreed to sign the controversial Players' Terms agreement.

"We took up the negotiations where we left off last week, and continued to discuss the items that were on the table then," Majola told reporters in Cape Town.

"We have reached agreement on those issues and I am pleased to confirm that South Africa will send its best- available team to the ICC Champions Trophy, and that the players have agreed to sign the Player Terms Agreements," he said.

The breakthrough came following a meeting Majola had with players' association CEO Tony Irish in Cape Town.

The players will leave for Sri Lanka on Sunday, Majola said.

This is the third time the South African cricketers have changed their decision on this vexed issue. They had earlier agreed to sign on certain conditions but later said they wanted more discussions with UCB.

On Monday, Irish had said in a media interview that the talks with the UCB had broken down and the players will not sign. But negotiations continued on Tuesday and an understanding was reached.

Majola, however, said some outstanding issues remain to be discussed and negotiations would continue after the team's return from Sri Lanka.

"The agreement also incorporates the ICC's resolution on Saturday that in future players and their representatives will be consulted for the drafting of similar contracts," he said.

Irish said he was pleased with the agreement and the players would now be able to concentrate on doing their best in the Champions Trophy.

"We will continue with the negotiations after the Sri Lanka tournament," he added.

Earlier report
SA players refuse to sign contract
The ICC contract controversy - the complete coverage

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