England players toe Australia, fall in line on contract
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2002, 23:47 [IST]
Australia to send full-strength team to Sri Lanka
London: English cricketers are close to agreeing a deal on the controversial issue of image rights in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) forthcoming Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, their representative said on Thursday. Australia announced on Thursday that it would send a full-strength team to the ICC Champions Trophy, but it warned an ongoing dispute over sponsorship still threatens next year's World Cup.The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) said the 14 players selected for the Champions Trophy next month had agreed to sign a participating nations agreement. The moved eased speculation there would be a mass boycott of the tournament, as the ICC remained firm in its stance of protecting tournament sponsors. Players have argued the agreements could endanger their deals with their own sponsors. England players' representative Richard Bevan, the managing director of England's Professional Cricketers Association, said, "Australia have not actually signed but have agreed to sign based on a number of points and a new template. "That template has been forwarded to associations around the world. We are very close to sorting out the situation. Pressure is building on the Indian board to do the same with the Indian players." England is expected to fall in behind the Australia position as their players are also members of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) South Africa's players are also linked to the global players' union but India are not in FICA. India is the dominant financial force in world cricket and attention now will focus on its players who appear to be the final stumbling block ahead of a complete resolution of the dispute.