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Hit where it hurts most: endorsements

The BCCI declares that sponsors cannot have more than two players endorsing a brand, report Kadambari Murali & Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Apr 08, 2007 03:45 IST

In a move that more than one Indian player believed was aimed more at “pleasing the front-row fan” rather than having a direct bearing on the kind of cricket played, the BCCI on Saturday made two radical decisions that could well spell legal wrangles.

First, the board restricted the number of endorsements each player was allowed to three. And then, it declared that sponsors could not have more than two players endorse a brand. A board official told HT the move was to protect the commercial interests of BCCI sponsors.

“The Board is completely killing us,” said a player. “They believe the public thinks we are shooting for ads all the time and that’s why we did badly. But we shoot a week or so in a year, what the public sees is an ad being replayed constantly. How does it affect the cricket we play?”

Rahul Mehra, a Delhi-based Supreme Court advocate who took the BCCI to court to demand accountability and transparency, said the decision lacked logic. “If the players go to court, they will have a case. The Board itself is making billions, but it is restricting a player’s Right to Profession.”

The point is, will the players take the BCCI to court? “It would be difficult,” said a player, “Unless we are united.”