SL players confident contract crisis will fizzle out

Published: Saturday, August 17, 2002, 2:42 [IST]
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's cricketers on Friday expressed confidence that a sponsorship row will be resolved with 'give and take' on both sides, allowing next month's Champions Trophy to go ahead. "We do not see any real danger for the tournament," said spokesman for the Sri Lankan players, Graeme Labrooy. "The game must go on and we feel there will be give and take on both sides." The International Cricket Council (ICC) wants cricketers to sign contracts stating that players cannot have endorsement deals in conflict with official ICC sponsors a month before and after an ICC tournament. The ICC has already signed up a number of official sponsors for the Trophy, effectively a mini World Cup, starting here from September 12. But many leading players have agreements with rival firms. Some have not yet signed the controversial terms. The Cricket Players' Association of Sri Lanka (CPASL) said about a dozen players in the national pool had their own product endorsement contracts, but it hoped there would be no conflict of interest with the sponsors of the tournament. Labrooy said the Sri Lankan team currently in Morocco had not signed the terms, but the players were being provided legal advice to ensure that there was no conflict of interest. "We feel that there should be greater dialogue between the players and the ICC in deciding their course of action for the next three to four years," Labrooy said. "That way, we should be able to avoid this type of situation." He said Sri Lankan players were keen to ensure that the sponsorship row did not affect the game and that the big names in cricket would be able to attend next month's tournament. Some key Indian cricketers, including mega star Sachin Tendulkar, have been hesitant to sign the terms as they have agreements with companies that are in competition with ICC sponsors. Australian, Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers are among those who are yet to sign the contracts.

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