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 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 11:09 GMT
India seek arbitration
The Court of Arbitration for Sport
CAS is a highly respected independent body
Indian cricket officials have contacted an independent arbitrator to settle the contracts row that threatens the country's participation in the World Cup.

The long-running dispute with the International Cricket Council (ICC) must be resolved by Tuesday, the deadline for players to sign their tournament contracts.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed to BBC Sport Online that India had contacted its Lausanne offices.

The ICC recognises the juristiction of CAS and if the call arises we can rule on the dispute

CAS spokesman

"We received an e-mail on Friday from the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) regarding this matter," a spokesman said.

"The initial contact has been made and they have requested the rules of arbitration and a list of arbitrators from which they can choose one."

For CAS to intervene both feuding partings must be in favour of arbitration, but the spokesman said the ICC had not yet made contact.

Jagmohan Dalmiya
Dalmiya has stood firm throughout the dispute

It is understood the India players have signed their contracts, but it is unclear whether they did so under protest or deleted two disputed clauses relating to personal advertising.

If the ICC does not receive the contracts in time, it is likely CAS will be given the go-ahead to intervene.

CAS is a highly respected independent body which has settled rows connected to the Sydney Olympics and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in recent years.

The body usually requires up to four months to mediate, but urgent cases such as the World Cup can be fast-tracked, the spokesman said.

"The arbitration process can be rushed for special needs.

"Once a written request is received from both parties, a three-person commitee is set up.

"From a list of 200 arbitrators that CAS has on its books, one is selected by us and one each is selected by the two parties in dispute.

"The first phase is an exchange of written statements followed by a hearing at which all parties are present.

"After that the decision is made and there is only limited recourse for appeal on grounds such as procedural matters," the spokesman said.

Non-binding mediation

The BCCI had sought non-binding mediation in South Africa as per the Playing Nations Agreement (PNA) after its negotiations to extract some concessions on the player terms failed.

A clause in the contracts prohibits personal endorsement deals in order to protect the interests of the official sponsors.

Leading Indian players, who make more from personal endorsements than playing, almost boycotted the Champions Trophy in September last year over the matter.

PNA rules state any dispute must first be dealt with by compulsory non-binding mediation in South Africa.

Cricket World Cup 2003 begins on 8 February in South Africa

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