'Flexible' players say ball is in BCCI's court

Published: Sunday, August 25, 2002, 1:28 [IST]
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Leeds (England): Top Indian cricketers, who have refused to sign the contract for next month's Champions Trophy, were willing to be more "flexible" in their stand if the Board of control for Cricket in India (BCCI) came out with a concrete proposal to sort out the sponsorship tangle.

"The players are keen for a solution to the sponsorship issue and would be flexible if anything concrete comes up from the BCCI," the official spokesman for the players Ravi Shastri said. "Nobody wants a confrontation. The players have given me to understand they would be keen for a solution if something concrete comes up from the Board," he said.

The stalemate between the members of the touring team and the Indian Cricket Board has shown no signs of a breakthrough despite players from Australia, England and South Africa, who had initially opposed the contract, agreeing to sign on the dotted lines. Shastri said the players would prefer if there was a written understanding given by the Board on the issues they promise to take up with the ICC on the existing contracts and also to look after their interests in order to encourage them to sign the agreement for the Champions Trophy only.

Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya, when contacted on phone, said enough have been said on the matter in the last few days. "It is now up to the players to respond to his offer of looking after their financial and legal issues if they were to sign the contract for the Sri Lanka tournament only," he said.

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