Players dare BCCI to send 2nd rung team to Lanka

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2002, 3:00 [IST]
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Leeds: Top Indian cricketers were on Tuesday set on a collision course with the establishment, deciding not to sign the agreement for ICC tournaments and daring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to send a second rung team for the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka next month. The reaction of the players, currently in England, came shortly after the working committee of the BCCI decided in Bangalore that India will "definitely" participate in the Colombo tournament even with a second string team while giving them time till 12 noon on Wednesday to reconsider their decision not to sign the agreement. "BCCI can pick and send a second rung team to Sri Lanka if it wants, but the players will not budge," their spokesman and former India captain Ravi Shastri said in Leeds.

"ICC will have to budge from its position, if it wants an amicable solution to the crisis. All the 18 players of the team (in England) are united on the issue and none of them is going to relent," Shastri said. "If the ICC is ready to move back, then we are ready for a dialogue," Shastri added. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, in the meanwhile, refused to recognise Shastri as the spokesman of the players, saying his role had not been approved by BCCI. "He can give advice to the players but he cannot act on their behalf." Dalmiya said he was also in touch with ICC Chief executive Malcolm Speed, currently in Mumbai. "We had a couple of talks during the day," Dalmiya said but refused to elaborate.

Regarding the team sponsorship with Sahara, Dalmiya said, BCCI went through all the documents and was "convinced that there is no conflict of interest with any of the ICC sponsors".

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