Speed gives scribes the slip, vacates hotel in Mumbai

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2002, 20:14 [IST]
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Bombay: International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive officer Malcom Speed, who has been camping here since Tuesday, has turned out to be too fast for journalists.

In the thick of the ongoing sponsorship contract controversy, Speed suddenly disappeared from the Marriott luxury hotel in Bombay's posh Juhu district where he had been booked until Thursday. Hotel officials said he had left with his luggage. "We may get a call anytime that he has checked out," he said. Although Speed claimed Tuesday that his trip to Bombay was personal and planned three months ago, a lot is being read into the visit as sources say he is meeting sponsors of ICC's forthcoming Champions Trophy to be held in Sri Lanka. The Indian cricketers, along with those of Australia, South Africa and West Indies, are refusing to sign a sponsorship agreement with the ICC. The waiting reporters were left high and dry despite Speed having assured them of an update on the ICC's stand regarding the controversy in the wake of Tuesday's meeting in Bangalore of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). With Speed having given reporters the slip, speculation was rife that he had headed for Bangalore to meet the BCCI officials.

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