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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > PTI > Report

Ball in BCCI's Court: Hero Honda

January 09, 2003 17:56 IST

Merely five days before the expiry of the deadline for Indian players to sign the controversial ICC World Cup contract, the tournament's official sponsors Hero Honda said "the ball is in Board of Control for Cricket in India's court".

"Our reactions will follow the actions taken by the BCCI," the company's deputy general manager (marketing), Pradip Saxena, told newspersons in Kolkata on Thursday.

"The ICC and BCCI first have to sort out their problems and come to an understanding. We come into the picture only after that," he said on the sidelines of a function where the World Cup 2003 trophy was unveiled.

Saxena said his company is hopeful of an amicable settlement of the vexed issue.

"But everything now depends on the BCCI," he said.

BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had slammed the Indian sponsors of the World Cup for reacting negatively to the appeal made to them for dispensations to the Indian players, saying "either they have not appreciated the genuine problems of Indian players or they are ignorant".

The BCCI has already sought non-binding mediation in South Africa as per the Participating Nations Agreement of the World Cup after its negotiations with the ICC to extract some concessions on the Player Terms failed.

All the 15 members of the Indian World Cup squad have to sign the Players' Terms by January 14 to make them eligible for the quadrennial meet, beginning on February 8 in South Africa.

The BCCI had earlier objected to certain restrictions in the Players' Terms since it clashed with pre-existing contracts of Indian cricketers and demanded appropriate concessions from the ICC.

The terms bar players from endorsing any product during and 30 days on either side of the tournament if it is in conflict with the interests of the official sponsors.

It also allows the official sponsors to use images of players for promoting their products.

A similar problem had cropped up during the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka last September after which the ICC constituted a six-member contract committee with Dalmiya as one of the members to settle the issue before the World Cup.

The ICC agreed to give some concessions, but the Indian board was not satisfied and ultimately Dalmiya resigned from the committee and decided to go for mediation.

India captain Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Kaif are 'brand ambassadors' of Hero Honda.

The Contract row - the complete coverage

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