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ICC is not East India Company, says Speed

Published: Monday, October 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Jaipur:''ICC is not East India Company, it's main function is to run cricket and that is what we are doing,'' thundered chief executive Malcom Speed today as he responded to the recent criticism of the governing body by the BCCI over the Member Participation Agreement (MPA) dispute.

''The International Cricket Council (ICC) represents 97 member countries, it is for all those members and not only for India,'' Speed told media persons here this evening.

''Yesterday when I arrived here the first person to greet me was former India Captain Pataudi who said 'let me be the first to welcome back the East India Company','' Speed said, adding sarcastically, ''I always act on facts and not on opinions.'' Mr Speed said he was well aware of the comments made by BCCI vice president Lalit Modi which described ICC as the new East India Company.

''Well Mr Modi's comments are more of an opinion and devoid of facts and I am interested in facts,'' Mr Speed said.

''Mr Modi has never attended a meeting of ICC, he has never represented India in the ICC. Mr Modi is welcome to have his opinions but let us focus on cricket that is our main area,'' said Mr Speed.

The ICC Chief Executive said he will be discussing the contentious MPA with the BCCI officials during his stay in the country.

''Every country has accepted the MPA except India and I hope the matter will be resolved amicably,'' he said, stressing, ''ICC has to look after the interest of all the members and not only India.'' ''The new MPA is vastly different from the past one. Players' terms are far more lenient in the present one,'' Speed pointed out.

BCCI President Sharad Pawar had raised concerns specifically over players' rights and ambush marketing clauses and had vowed not to compromise on its players' rights. Indian cricketers make the maximum amount of money from individual endorsements compared to their counterparts in other countries.

Mr Speed also dismissed BCCI's fears over the MPA being a unilateral agreement wherein the ICC will be allowed to make one-sided changes.

''Malcolm Speed or Percy Sonn cannot make changes in the MPA. Any changes will have to be made after the approval of the board consisting of 10 members and only if seven of its members agree to it. India is one of the seven full members,'' he explained.

He alleged that the BCCI was delaying the signing of the MPA.

''The first draft had been sent in April and a couple of re-drafts followed, the last one being in September but it was only in that month that BCCI started raising objections,'' he revealed.

He however acknowledged that other member countries like Australia and England had also expressed their concerns over certain clauses but those have been either addressed or are in the process of being addressed.

UNI

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