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Last Updated:  Friday, 24 January, 2003, 14:20 GMT

India given World Cup go-ahead
Tendulkar celebrates
India's players had been indispute with the ICC
India will field a full-strength side at the World Cup after an agreement with cricket's governing body.

But player sponsorship deals will still be restricted for the duration of the tournament.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said that a long-running dispute over the deals would be decided after the tournament ends on 23 March.

But it will retain $9 million (6m) - due to India for taking part in the tournament - until the matter had been finally cleared up.

And the ICC warned India could suspended from the world game if the matter drags on.

"The (ICC) board decision effectively calls a truce between the ICC and the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow the players to play," an statement said.

The ICC has made further concessions to India, getting rid of rules that prevented personal sponsorship in the days before and after the tournament.

And official sponsors will also be restricted in their use of players' images in their own advertising.

Last March the Indian board accepted the World Cup sponsorship terms without consulting its players, who threatened not to play as a result.

The BCCI then blamed the ICC terms for being too restrictive and supported its players when they deleted the relevant clauses in their contracts.

The ICC said that it would hold the Indian board responsible if official World Cup sponsors sue for compensation and will go to arbitration to decide who should pay.

"Should an arbitration process determine that the BCCI is liable for damages and the BCCI refuse to pay this compensation, the ICC board will recommend that India is suspended from the ICC," the statement added.

Meanwhile, three of the tournament's official sponsors - LG Electronics, Pepsi and Hero Honda - have been blocked by an Indian court from paying for their World Cup deals.

The High Court made its ruling based on a public interest litigation petition filed by former players Kapil Dev and Madan Lal.

They alleged that the ICC had "imposed stringent and unreasonable conditions on Indian players even though 80% of [world cricket] revenue is generated from India."

LG Electronics have already filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.

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