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Dalmiya ridicules ICC sponsors' 'love for cricket'
M Chhaya in Kolkata | January 11, 2003 20:06 IST
However much companies sponsoring the World Cup might want us to believe that for them it's always cricket first, or that their 'dil maange more' (heart desires more) of the game, Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, remarked that it's all about money, money, and only money.
"I hear some company [electronics giant LG] says it's 'always cricket first' for them," Dalmiya told reporters in Kolkata. "But now it looks at its commercial gains first."
Without naming motorbike manufacturer Hero Honda, another ICC sponsor, he continued: "I also hear another one say 'desh ki dhadkan'. I think the dhadkan [heartbeat] is for commercial gain again. Or is their heart beating for the country? I don't know."
The barbs came as the ICC sponsors refused to agree to remove two restrictive clauses from the World Cup player terms. The Indian cricketers, who have millions of rupees at stake in personal sponsorships, have rejected the two clauses while signing the contract. The ICC is yet to announce its acceptance of the altered contract.
"There is a third one [Pepsi] saying 'yeh dil maange more' [the heart desires more]. Now what does it want more? It's all about commercial gain," Dalmiya quipped.
He said it was not the Indian players but the ICC sponsors who were engaging in ambush marketing. "If they [the companies] are so interested in cricket, they should ensure that cricket is not restricted by commercial considerations."
Dalmiya, however, said two of the three principal ICC sponsors had sounded him out about extending certain concessions to the Indian players. "I'm expecting them to come up with something positive soon," he said, but refused to divulge the names of the two companies.
LG, Hero Honda and Pepsi are the principal sponsors of the World Cup.