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ICC Champions Trophy
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September 27, 2002
1045 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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'The players' agreement is fair'

Chat transcript of Malcolm Speed
The ICC chief executive

Mr Malcolm Speed : Good Morning, I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to cricket fans around the world on

comin : will the gap between the ICC and the BCCI prevail
Mr Malcolm Speed : From time to time, ICC and one of the member boards come into conflict over an issue. This has happened recently with BCCI over sponsorship and other issues. Generally the relationship between ICC and the BCCI is very good. We will work through the current issues and find the solution. It is important for the ICC that BCCI is strong and it is important for the BCCI that ICC is strong.

Mr Malcolm Speed : This is a common misconception about the ICC. From time to time each country thinks that ICC is being harsh with it. For example, the Australian team thinks that ICC has been harsh with it over sledging. As issues arise, ICC must deal with them in a fair and transparent manner. The new code of conduct for players is a major step forward. It is interesting to note that since the code was introduced no charges have been laid against the players.

MalcolmGray : Dont you think it was a waste of time by allowing the minnows to play against the bigger sides...... as it made the games boring !!!!!!!!!
Mr Malcolm Speed : No, It was not a waste of time. It is important that the ICC tries to develop cricket around the world. It is not so long ago that Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe suffered huge defeats at the hands of the cricket powers. Because the ICC and the other cricket antions stuck with them they are now a world power.

Hormuzd : the ICC Knocknout in its earlier avaatar was supposed to help promote the game...and now it is being played in Sri Lanka! Your comments please!
Mr Malcolm Speed : The first two ICC knock-outs were played in Dhaka and Kenya respectively. Last year the ICC board decided to change the name to the Champions Trophy and extend the competition from a knock-out to a round-robin between four groups of three teams followed by the semi-finals and the finals. It was decided in future to play in the full-member country so as to increase the profile of the event and the commercial returns from the event. However, fifty per cent of the proceeds that come to ICC from this event automatically goes to the ICC development program to develop cricket around the world. It is interesting to note that since the development programs commenced in 1997 the number of member countries in the ICC has grown from 45 to 84. This is largely funded by this event.

TalkToMe : Will the new technology eliminate the umpires ?????
Mr Malcolm Speed : It is important to understand that what is happening at the moment with technology is a trial. Umpires are now able to consult with the third umpire if they are in doubt about any aspect of the decision. The ultimate decision rests with the umpire on the ground after he has consulted with the third umpire. For example, an umpire can ask the third umpire whether the ball pitched outside leg-stump on an LBW appeal. Ultimately, however the decision rests with the umpire on the field after he has discussed this part of the decision with the third umpire. In some ways this actually increases the powers of the umpires.

IvanLendl : so how do u propose to deal with the player contract issue?
Mr Malcolm Speed : There are two major issues with the player contracts. They both largely relate to ambush marketing. Cricket has a poor history in protecting its sponsors and it is important that stringent processes are in place to protect the sponsors. What is happened in recent dsicussions with players and player representatives is that a number of issue have been highlighted. Thee ICC baord meets on Monday to discuss some of these issues. After that meeting in Colombo further discussions will take place with player representatives to try to find a solution to the players' problems.

Shyam : Mr. Speed what is the reason behind allowing vodaphone to sponsor even when the time different between aussie one day series and world cup is less than 30 days! And vodaphone directly competes with MTN. And if that is allowed why is Sahara rejected?
Mr Malcolm Speed : Vodafone is very unlikely to be able to sponsor England in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 because of the clash with MTN, which is an official ICC sponsor. Vodafone has been permitted in the Champions Trophy because MTN is a recently signed sponsor for the ICC. There is a nine month lead time for sponsors to achieve protection under the ICC contract. By the time the World Cup commences, the notice period for MTN will have been served and Vodafone will be blocked by MTN. The South African Airways sponsorship has been in place since last year and for this reason Sahara was blocked by it.

ruby : will the sponsorship row come in picture again for the world cup or u will plan things such a way that they dont get repeated as they have been now causing a lot of embarrasement
Mr Malcolm Speed : The same issues exist for the World Cup. We are trying to solve those issue well ahead of the commencement of the World Cup.

srik : Hi mr. Malcom whom do you think is the best batsmen in the modern cricket???
Mr Malcolm Speed : For one-day cricket I would like to see a batting order of Sehwag and Gilchrist opening, with Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar making up the middle-order for the team. Any bowling attack that could dismiss this batting order for fewer than 350 in a one-day match would be first-class.

vivek : Like the Ambush Marketing issue will the banned drugs issue become a problem for the worldcup.What steps have you taken to avoid the same
Mr Malcolm Speed : ICC has adopted a comprehensive doping policy for the 2003 World Cup. This is a requirement of South African law. Each team has been provided with a very detailed list of banned substances. Each board has been required to ensure that its medical advisors are working with the players to educate them about the banned substances so that they are not inadvertently using a banned substance. If players are using banned substances to obtain an unfair advantage, the doping policy should put a stop to this. This is the first time that cricket has conducted drug testing in a major event. ICC is working very hard with the boards to make sure that all players understand what will be required of them.

slingshot : Mr. Speed, are you contemplating any inquiry on the India-S/A match to see if there was some "fixing", on the lines of the S/L-Pak match
Mr Malcolm Speed : The ICC Anti-corruption Unit is present in Colombo at full strength. Its task is to review each and every match that is played in the event. Corruption is a very serious issue that has absolute priority for the ICC and the member countries. ICC commits huge expenditure and resources to this issue to rid the game of corruption.

Nagesh : Isn't it unfair on the parf of ICC to steal the players money?
Mr Malcolm Speed : This is completely incorrect. It is important that you understand the way world cricket operates.ICC does not pay the players -- this is the responsibility of the various boards for whom they play.ICC does not steal the players' money. ICC runs events and receives large amounts of money from telecasters and sponsors. This money is then distributed by ICC to each of the participating countries. For example, for theICC Champions Trophy each full-member country will receive US$ 800,000 and for the World Cup they will receive US$ 8 million. From these events, ICC runs its development program and provides significant amounts of money to the host country to improve facilities. In Sri Lanka, ICC has provided the funds to renovate the media centre and has also provided other infrastructure. For the World Cup many millions are being spent on the 15 venues in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. As a result of the ICC contracts for these events, there is significantly more money available for cri

bharath : why cant the players have a tribunal to fight against the sponsorship issues
Mr Malcolm Speed : In relation to the player image issue, ICC has put in place a disputes resolution process that allows players to contest a sponsor request to use a player in a product endorsement. This has been put in place to make sure that sponsors are not able to obtain a de facto personal endorsement from a player under the guise of an ICC event endorsement. These guidelines are very comprehensive and provide protection to players in these circumstances.

nk : How have the other sports federations handled the ambush advertising issue?
Mr Malcolm Speed : Each sport handles it differently. Cricket has a long history of ambush marketing by companies that have not purchased the rights and seek to ambush the companies that have purchased the rights. this was particularly evident during the 1996 World Cup. All sports deal with this issue by way of player contracts. In some respects the cricket contract is more restrictive of players than in some other sports. In other ways, the cricket contract is less restrictive -- for example cricketers are permitted to write for newspapers as columnists during cricket events. In most sports there is an absolute ban on players writing for newspapers.

ash : mr speed, it is clear ICC could be blackmailed by the Indian board because of its money clout. ICC could come out of it if the domestic cricket of member nations is strong and financially viable. Your views
Mr Malcolm Speed : I do not believe that ICC can be blackmailed by BCCI because of its money clout. India is a very important market for cricket and much of the revenue for the ICC events is generated in India. For events such as the Champions Trophy and the World Cup many great teams compete. No cricket country can survive alone -- they need other great teams to play against. Every team's interests are best served by having strong domestic competitions that produce great international teams so that competitions between countries continue to appeal to the cricketing public.

BCCI : The Sahara could wings make a difference to the official sponsor..the official version pls?
Mr Malcolm Speed : The wings in question were exactly the same as those on the Sahara logo. It was necessary to avoid any suggestion of the Sahara logo so as to protect the rights of the South African Airways.

mspeed : Dalmiya is such an ass..well..technically all the officials.Does ICC have any plans to deal with such ppl?
Mr Malcolm Speed : It is not the ICC's role to interfere in the domestic workings of any of the member boards. BCCI elects its officials to represent it at ICC meetings. Mr Dalmiya is a former president of ICC and is widely respected throughout the cricket world.

Rohit : Why is there a discrimination between coloured players? Any thing done by the sub-continent players is highlighted and for the same the aussies kiwis or SA or english are left scot-free
Mr Malcolm Speed : This is a common misconception. From time to time each country thinks that it is being picked on by ICC , the umpires and the referees. There is a new code of conduct in place from April this year that sets out clearly what is acceptable behaviour from players and what is not acceptable. This year ICC has put in place a new panel of umpires and referees that sees the eight best umpires umpiring all Test matches. Last year 75 umpires officated in international cricket. The number of referees has been reduced from 20 to 5, who are full-time specialists referees drawn from around the world. ICC is committed to enforce the rules fairly without fear or favour and will continue to do this.

sweet : Mr. Speed, honestly do you think the Players Agreement is fair?
Mr Malcolm Speed : Yes. The players' agreement is fair. It strikes a balance between the sponsors' interests and the players' interest. Sponsors and broadcasters are paying huge amounts of money to ICC which then passes thatmoney to the member boards who in turn pay the players. Unless the sponsors and broadcasters are given exclusive rights and protected from being ambushed, ICC cannot accept to receive such large amounts of money.

TrueCricketer : What steps you feel are needed to make ICC more accountable, democratic and transparent?
Mr Malcolm Speed : ICC is fully accountable, democratic and transparent. ICC publishes an annual report that sets out its financial results and provides a very detailed sumamry of all of its summaries. This is widely published and is available on request to the ICC. It is widely distributed to the media. This year ICC has published its first strategic plan which sets oput very clearly the ICC's objectives and the way in which we intend to achieve these objectives. This plan is also available on request. The ICC president and cheif executive have regular media briefings in various countries around the world in which they are prepared to answer questions on any topic. Discussions such as this are further evidence of ICC's accountability and accessibility.

sreeseetha : how frequent are ICC meetings held? why cant u meet once in 6 months....being cost-effective..and review the rules and regulations etc
Mr Malcolm Speed : The ICC executive board meets three times each year. Each meeting takes place in a different country. This week we are meeting in Colombo. The next meeting will take place in March in South Africa. The rules are reviewed annually by a committee called the cricket committee which is chaired by Sunil Gavaskar and comprises a former cricketer from each country. These specialists make recommendations to the executive board concerning rule changes. Former South African wicket keeper David Richardson is teh general manager - cricket for ICC and has responsibility for this area.

creepy : Will u contest again for ICC CEO post, Mr. Speed? U didn't answer me :-(
Mr Malcolm Speed : It is not an elected position. I am employed on the basis of a contract with the ICC in the same manner as chief executives of other companies. My current contract expires during 2004. It is possible that an extension of the contract will be offered at that time. If that occurs, I will consider it at that time.

Shyam1 : Sir recently Richard Bevan said that agreement has been reached between ICC and their players association that ICC will allow vodaphone to sponsor triangular oneday series in australia..Is it true????
Mr Malcolm Speed : Yes this is true. The ICC sponsorsip rules only apply to ICC events. Sahara sponsored the Indian team in the recent series in England and is free to sponsor the team in next month's series against West Indies. Similarly, Vodafone is free to sponsor England in all events other than ICC events. From time to time, seeral countries have had to find alternative sponsors for ICC events. In 1999, Australia had to abandon its sponsorship with Coca Cola becasue fo a clash with Pepsi which was the official event sponsor.

Mr Malcolm Speed : Thank you for your very perceptive and interesting questions. I will hope to have the opportunity to do this again in the near future. Before leaving could I advise of a recent ICC initiative in relation to anti-corruption. ICC has commissioned a vidoe tape and posters to re-inforce the message that cricket must be free of corruption. The posters and the vidoe-tapes have been produced in three languages ---Urdu, Hindi and English. The video tape features a number of star players including Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh and Shaun Pollock.

Mr Malcolm Speed : Best Wishes to all teams in the remaining ICC trophy.


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