Akram joins issue with cricketers on endorsements
Stalemate continues a day after Rahul Dravid sought discussion with the board over restriction on players' personal endorsements.Updated: Apr 10, 2007, 02:08 IST
A day after Rahul Dravid sought discussion with the board over restriction on players' personal endorsements, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram criticised the move but the confusion persisted.
Top officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chose not to respond to calls, though board sources said that even first-class players could be asked to furnish details of their endorsements.
On Saturday, the BCCI came down heavily on players following the World Cup disaster, restricting their income from advertisements.
Following a working committee meeting, it announced a series of measures curtailing players' income from the game, including the decision to scrap their graded payment system, while retaining a basic retainership amount.
"It is a joke the way the board is limiting players from signing endorsements. You can't be treating senior players like Sachin Tendulkar as kids," said Akram in an interview to a sports channel.
"If some senior players have advised the board to stop endorsements, then it is wrong...the jealousy factor is very clear."
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who was in Noida for a promotional event, said that the issue could be resolved through a balanced approach.
"There has to be a balance when it comes to advertising. Endorsements have never affected my performance, but I guess we will have to live with that (restrictions)," he said.
Rahul Dravid, who will lead India in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, said the same thing Sunday - that he was for a "healthy dialogue" between the two parties on the issue.
"The interests of the players' and the BCCI are inclusive and not exclusive," he said in a statement.
But no clarification came from the board officials Monday, allowing the speculation to go on unabated.
The BCCI put a tight cap on players' endorsements and snatched away the "exclusivity" tag for signing media contracts. Now, the BCCI will vet commercial contracts before players can sign them.
A player will endorse not more than three products. No sponsor can contract more than two players. Players will not be allowed to do any sponsor-related events 15 days before the tour and also during the tour.
All decisions are largely a result of India's first-round exit from the World Cup in the West Indies, after losing two of the three matches in their group. One repercussion of the debacle was the exit of Greg Chappell, after he decided not to request a renewal of his contract that expired with the World Cup.
The board also did not renew the contract of biochemist Ian Frazer, who doubled up as the bowling coach of the Indian team.