BCCI working panel to discuss contract row tomorrow

Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 22:13 [IST]
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New Delhi: With the vexed World Cup contract issue showing no signs of being resolved, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) top officials will meet on Wednesday to decide its future course of action. The Board's working committee is expected to deliberate at length on the contract showdown with the International Cricket Council (ICC) which had not yet taken a decision on whether to accept the conditionally signed Player Terms submitted by Indian cricketers. "The ICC has not yet responded. Till date we have not received any communication on whether it has accepted the forms. We will discuss the issue tomorrow (Wednesday)," BCCI secretary S K Nair told. Nair said the Board would discuss "all the aspects of the issue" before deciding its future course of action. "We are keen to participate in the World Cup.

But we have objection to certain restrictive clauses in the contracts and we want to see how that can be solved amicably," he said. At the BCCI's behest, all the 15 members of India's World Cup squad had conditionally signed the Player Terms ahead of the January 14 deadline set by the ICC. The Indian Board duly forwarded the forms to the ICC but the world body has not made any official statement on whether it had accepted the conditionally signed forms or not. Significantly, the crucial working committee meeting will be held on a day when the Delhi High Court will give its judgement on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the ICC's World Cup contracts. Former Union Minister and BCCI president N K P Salve and former cricketers Kapil Dev and Madan Lal among others, giving a new twist to the sponsorship tangle, filed the PIL on Friday. But Nair said the fact that the court was to give its verdict on Wednesday was just a co-incidence.

"The meeting was scheduled a fortnight ago. But of course, if the Court gives its judgement on Wednesday, it could be discussed," he said. Former Law Minister, Arun Jaitley, who is also a senior official in DDCA, has been invited to the meeting, raising speculation that legal aspects could also be discussed. Although the BCCI and ICC's solicitors have been "exchanging papers" as the first process for approaching the International Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland, the BCCI would take into account the Delhi High Court's ruling and the subsequent reaction from the ICC before pushing the matter further. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya had been given full authority to take due action at the special general meeting in Kolkata on Christmas day and he would take the opportunity to brief the members on his alternatives and seek their consent on going ahead. Meanwhile, the Board's finance committee met on Tuesday and will submit its proposals and accounts to the working committee for ratification on Wednesday.

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