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September 5, 2002 | 0200 IST

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ICC discusses contract issue with Indians

Ashish Shukla in London

A day ahead of the crucial series-deciding fourth Test between India and England, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed held a marathon five-hour long meeting with five top Indian cricketers in London on Wednesday and discussed their refusal to sign the contract for the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka starting later this month.

The contract requires the players to forego their individual endorsements in favour of the official sponsors in case of a clash of interest.

Speed refused to disclose what transpired at the meeting saying that he did not want the Indian cricketers to be distracted from the match.

"The ICC today met the five Indian players and their representative Ravi Shastri and now has a better understanding of the present situation," he said.

"The ICC would consult a few people overnight and hopefully would inform about the developments tomorrow," Speed said.

The Board of Control of Cricket in India had on Wednesday requested the ICC to hold talks directly with the Indian players.

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