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New Delhi: India's cricket chief said on Tuesday he will persuade the sport's world governing body to alter contentious sponsorship contracts - provided the top stars sign up for next week's Champions Trophy.The Indian team wanted the International Cricket Council (ICC) to delete objectionable clauses from the players' agreement before they consented to play in the 12-nation tournament in Sri Lanka starting next Tuesday.Saurav Ganguly's men are against the clause, which gives the ICC and its sponsors rights to use the players images for six months from the completion of the Champions Trophy or next year's World Cup.The Indians, who had initially also rejected the clause which prohibits them from endorsing rival products for 30 days after the event, said they were willing to accept the month-long moratorium if the images clause was removed.Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said he had written to the players on Monday outlining the extent to which he could go to solve the issue.Dalmiya, faced with the prospect of fielding a second-string team for the Champions Trophy, told the players that while it was mandatory for them to sign the contracts, he could request the ICC not to use the images of the Indian players - thereby resolving their grievances.Dalmiya wrote, "I would like to mention that all the participating countries, except India, have agreed to grant imaging rights to the ICC and its sponsors."It may, therefore, be difficult for the ICC to grant a relaxation only for one country. But, I intend speaking to the ICC to ensure that none of the Indian cricketers are called upon for imaging during the Champions Trophy."You will appreciate that if no (Indian) player is called upon for imaging, the question of applicability of the relevant clause for six months would not arise at all."This would be the simplest way to avoid problems either for the Indian cricketers or for the ICC."I have, of course, not come to any agreement with the ICC in this regard and will not do so unless a confirmation is received from you to abide by the commercial terms and conditions during the 18-day duration of the Champions Trophy as well as 30 days after the event, subject to the provision that the Indian players would not be called upon for imaging," the letter said.The Indian team, preparing for the final Test against England, which starts at the Oval in London on Thursday, are expected to reply to Dalmiya's latest proposal by Tuesday evening.The Indian players most affected by the ambush marketing clauses are Ganguly, star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag, and spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
Copyright AFP 2001
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