New Delhi: In a positive initiative towards finding a solution to the vexed contracts issue, World Cup sponsors Hero Honda on Saturday offered to "walk any mile" and "extend all flexibility" to ensure India's participation in the tournament in South Africa next month. The move from Hero Honda - one of the four official sponsors of the World Cup - comes amidst a deadlock over the controversial players' terms, which puts various restrictions on cricketers regarding endorsement of companies with competing interests.
"If it comes to pass that, World Cup cricket in general, and the Indian team's participation in particular, could be affected by any such terms, we would definitely want to be part of the solution," the company said in a release. The Indian players have only given a conditional acceptance to the players' terms and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has initiated the arbitration proceedings as provided for in the relevant disputes resolution clauses of the participating nations agreement.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya had last month appealed to the official sponsors to dilute some of their rights to ensure India's participation in the World Cup. Though Hero Honda did not provide any details as to what extent it was ready to go towards finding a solution, it said the company was open for negotiations.
"We confirm that Hero Honda will walk any mile, and extend all flexibility, to ensure the participation of the Indian cricket team for the World Cup 2003," the release said. "We do hope the others involved also reciprocate."