~~ACB, ACA agreement is sensible, pragmatic solution~~

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2002, 21:58 [IST]
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Bangalore: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday welcomed the breakthrough negotiated between the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), which is set to clear the way for the Australian team's participation in the ICC Champions Trophy starting 12 September 2002. The agreement will see a standard set of guidelines used to clarify the contractual obligations on the ICC, the ACB and ACA members including an approval and disputes resolution process introduced to ensure that the use of player images does not constitute a player's endorsement and is appropriate and reasonable.These guidelines will be offered to all full members so that every country is treated in the same way. ICC president, Malcolm Gray, said that, "ICC management had worked with the ACB to develop and document the agreed guidelines and processes so that these could be implemented immediately." The only outstanding issue is for the ICC to obtain the approval of the ICC Board to ensure that consultation takes place with players prior to concluding an agreement covering players' rights for new ICC events outside the existing commitment for the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and the Champions Trophy in 2002, 2004 and 2006. In relation to the issue of player consultation, Gray said, "I do not expect any problem obtaining Board approval which will be done at a meeting to take place next week. "The importance of hearing the players' voice when making decisions is well recognised. ICC management is currently working on a number of ways to increase the involvement of players in the administration of the game," he said. Gray urged other Boards to finalise their negotiations with their players as soon as possible. "The ACB and the ACA agreement is a sensible and pragmatic solution," Gray said. "It protects the ICC's commercial partners by accepting the proposed terms of the Contract, including the critical ambush marketing protections, while also ensuring that players' concerns over the use of their images are addressed through the agreed guidelines and processes that will be adopted. "This deal follows agreements in Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and Zimbabwe and it is now up to the other boards and their players to find a solution to their own issues," Gray said. On behalf of all Boards the ICC sold the commercial rights to its events including the Champions Trophy and the World Cup for $ 550 million in 2000. Under this agreement, the ICC commercial partners are provided with a range of exclusive rights and agreements signed to protect them from ambush marketing campaigns from competitors. These rights have been agreed to by most Boards for the Champions Trophy through a Participating Nations Agreement signed with the ICC. This agreement specifies the obligation of both the teams and their players for this tournament. Each Board is responsible for agreeing with their players to participate in the tournament given the undertakings each Board has given to the tournament's commercial partners through this PNA. With the matter now resolved in Australia only the England and Wales Cricket Board is yet to sign its PNA for the Champions Trophy All Test playing countries have signed their PNAs for the World Cup.

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