India~~s cash-rich cricket board eyes ICC~~s global rights

Published: Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 15:39 [IST]
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NEW DELHI, India (AFP):India's cricket chiefs said they will bid to secure the International Cricket Council's (ICC) global media and marketing rights for the next eight years.

"Yes, we will make a bid for the ICC rights," the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah told AFP on Monday, confirming local media reports on the extraordinary proposal.

"We have successfully sold our own rights and I am confident we can do well with the global rights also. We have informed the ICC of our intention."

The ICC's current 550-million dollar deal for seven years with Global Cricket Corporation, a venture owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, expires after the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.

The new deal till 2015 covers 18 ICC tournament, including two World Cups, three Champions Trophies and the first two Twenty20 world championships.

Other events include the ICC Trophy for associate members and the under-19 World Cups.

The new bid is expected to cost over a billion dollars.

The BCCI, one of the richest cricket boards in the world, secured a whopping 612 million dollars for its own marketing rights for the next four years from Mumbai-based Nimbus Corporation.

Five of the ICC's six official sponsors advertise mainly in India whose large cricket-loving population is a sponsors' dream.

India is due to host the 2011 World Cup - which forms part of the new agreement - jointly with its South Asian neighbours Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The 2015 World Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

ICC spokesman Brian Murgatroyd admitted the BCCI would be within its rights to make a bid for the global rights.

"As far as I know, there is nothing in the ICC that prevents a member board from biding for its rights," said Murgatroyd.

"If there isn't anything in the BCCI constitution that prevents them from bidding, then it is fine.

"But the BCCI will be treated like any other bidder. The process will take its course."

The Dubai-based ICC last month began talks with marketing and TV companies for the new rights.

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