India~~s WC participation to be decided on Friday

Published: Thursday, January 23, 2003, 1:07 [IST]
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New Delhi: India's participation in next month's cricket World Cup hinges on the outcome of Friday's executive board meeting of ICC Development International, the marketing arm of the world body, which will decide whether or not to accept the conditionally signed contracts of the Indian cricketers.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya told reporters on Wednesday that apart from deciding whether or not to accept the altered contracts sent by Indian players, the executive board, which will meet via teleconference, had the option of allowing India to participate in the World Cup while leaving the "commercial after-effects" to be settled later at an appropriate forum.

Asked whether he could guarantee India's participation in the tournament, which starts in South Africa on February 8, Dalmiya said, "I don't have to take a decision. The decision has to be taken by the executive board. That is precisely why the teleconference is happening on Friday." Reiterating that a team could not be prevented from participating in the World Cup for giving only a conditional agreement to ICC contracts, Dalmiya said if the board of directors rejected the Indian players' altered contracts, the matter will go for arbitration.

Dalmiya said he had not received any information from ICC about India being allowed to play in the World Cup pending the resolution of the dispute. "But I cannot say if any such thing is in transit," he said following a working committee meeting of BCCI. "All we have been informed is that the executive board of IDI will hold a teleconference on Friday," he said.

Dalmiya refused to comment on the ruling of the Delhi High Court directing the Central government and Reserve Bank of India to block foreign exchange to ICC, either in form of sponsorship money or damages to be paid by BCCI, if India is not allowed to participate in the World Cup or the players or BCCI is penalised by ICC in any other way. "The case is sub-judice and I would not comment anything on it. All I can say is that the matter is of public interest," he said.

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