Bangalore: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday clarified that the protections that are in place for cricketers to ensure that ICC event sponsors will not be able to use images of players to suggest a personal endorsement.
ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said, in an official press release, that following a number of contradictory reports and public statements made by various people it was necessary to ensure that the facts were made clear. "The fact is that the ICC has in place a strong system to deal with this issue," Speed said. "These protections are well established and have been a part of the agreements from the outset and were also in place at the ICC World Cup in 1999. They ensure that ICC sponsors will not be able to claim any personal endorsement by any player. "The provisions in our sponsor agreements limit an ICC sponsor to promotions only in connection with the event or in connection with exploiting the commercial rights it has been granted for the event." Speed said that there was also a system in place to enforce this provision of the contract. "Before any ICC sponsor can commence any promotional campaign, it must first obtain the approval of the ICC," Speed said. "To get this approval it must be able to demonstrate that the promotion it is planning is in connection with the event or with exploiting the commercial rights it has been granted for the event. This obligation will be strictly adhered to." Part of the agreement reached in Australia has strengthened this protection even further with the ICC, the Australian Cricket Board and the Australia Cricketers' Association agreeing to have a player representative included as part of the approval process. "The solution found in Australia has helped address the Australian players concerns in this area and this same option is available to other Boards and their players if it is appropriate for their circumstances," Speed stated. The provisions in place are also designed to address some players concerns over the right of the sponsors to associate with the event up to six months after the tournament. "Some players have expressed concerns that the sponsors can use images up to six months after the event. However, the reality is that the protections that are in place not only protect the player before and during the event but after the event as well," Speed clarified. "Where there are concerns about this issue I would hope that players recognise the protections that are in place, and that these have proved acceptable to international crickets in other parts of the world," Speed added.
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