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September 11, 2002 | 1930 IST

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Dalmiya signed disputed contract: Speed

Faisal Shariff in Colombo

International Cricket Council CEO Malcolm Speed cleared up two mysteries in one, today.

At a media conference at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo, Speed confirmed that former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Dr A C Muthiah was right in saying he had not signed the ICC contract now under dispute.

When the furore over the protectionist clause broke out, the ICC had said that it had been agreed to by all boards.

Muthiah promptly rebutted the statement, and said the controversial clause was not part of the document he as the then president had signed on behalf of the Indian board.

Speed’s media conference served to clear up that mystery. According to the ICC chief executive, there were three agreements in all.

The first was an agreement between the ICC and the Global Cricket Corporation, signed in June 2000, and relating to the marketing of the World Cup, Champions’ Trophy and other events.

The second was termed the ‘Cricket Events Agreements’, wherein each member country ratified the ICC’s agreement with the Global Cricket Corporation. The member nations also consented to participate in, and send their best teams to, all ICC events for the next seven years.

The third, termed the ‘Participating Nation’s Agreement’, was sent to member countries in December last year for signature and ratification.

By then, Muthaiah was no longer board president.

"Dr Muthiah was defeated in the election last October, and was not the board president in December," Speed pointed out. “The Participating Nation’s Agreement, which included the players' terms (and the controversial clause) was circulating in December.

"Therefore, Dr Muthiah is right when he says that the document he signed did not have the 30-day before and after blockade clause. That agreement was signed by his successors," said Speed.

Speed, thus, gave the former BCCI boss -- who has been vilified in some quarters for having been party to such an anti-player agreement -- vindication.

It also cleared up a secondary mystery -- ever since Muthiah on August 16 made a public statement to the effect that he had not signed off on the clause, there has been silence from the BCCI.

Now we know why. The agreement was received by, and signed by, Muthiah’s successor -- current BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The ICC Contract Row: Complete coverage

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