Mumbai: International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive officer Malcolm Speed said on Wednesday that cricketers signing the agreement for the forthcoming Champions Trophy are not bound to sign the ICC's World Cup 2003 agreement.
"Each event has a separate agreement. A player signing for the Champions Trophy is not bound to sign for the World Cup 2003," Speed told reporters in Mumbai. "The ICC has not asked players to sign for the World Cup. At the moment we have asked them to sign only for the Champions Trophy. This fact has not been accurately reported." Speed said in each event staged by the ICC, a new agreement has to be signed by the players. When asked whether the World Cup agreement would be different from the Champions Trophy, Speed said it was "unlikely that there would be substantial changes in the agreement". He said as per the agreement between the ICC and member Boards, each Board has to send its best available team. "In case any member Board does not send the best available team then the ICC executive Board will take a decision on that issue," he said. When told that the BCCI had opted to send a second-string team to the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka next month, Speed said, "The situation is fluid. I have had conflicting versions, but each country has to send the best available team." Indian cricket officials, refusing to bow to the players' power, earlier on Wednesday said they had included none of the cricketers currently touring England among the 25 probables for the Limited Overs tournament starting at Colombo on September 12. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, had decided to give more time to the players in England to make up their minds, said BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah. "If any player agrees to sign the ICC (International Cricket Council) contract, we'll act accordingly. The selection committee will then meet again to pick the squad," Shah said. Key Indian players, including batting stars Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly, have been hesitant to sign the ICC contract as they have agreements with companies that are in competition with the ICC sponsors. Speed said the ICC cricketing rights have to be protected and 'ambush marketing' cannot be allowed. "ICC has sold the rights for $ 550 million to sponsors up to 2007. The ambush provisions of 30 days on either side of the ICC event has to be maintained by the participating player," Speed added. When asked why players were not taken into confidence before ICC sold the rights, he said, "ICC deals with the respective Board. We do not go to the players." He said the ICC however has regular meetings with captains of member teams to discuss various issues. "In that way we are also in touch with the players," Speed added. Speed also clarified that the England and Australian Boards are not renegotiating, as reported by the section of the media. "They have asked for clarification and we are providing it. Each country will sign the same terms. You cannot have different terms for different countries," Speed said.
ICC asks players to retract from stubborn stand