Sponsorship feud continues as ACA says CA can not restrict player

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Sydney, Feb 8 (UNI) The current tussle between Cricket Australia (CA) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) refuses to subside as the television coverage of the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) remains the matter of disagreement for the two boards.

CA has two sponsors with global protection namely Foster's Group and Travelex which prevents Australian players endorsing rival brands.

With the IPL tournament to be telecast to an audience including millions of Australians, CA is opposed to any of its players advertising with companies in opposition to their sponsors.

But BCCI refuses to guarantee any such protection and said there is no way global protection can extend to a domestic club tournament.

The contracted players could be used by the IPL franchises to promote their sponsors' products and Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh said if it is a team situation then it will not breach the CA's contract.

For example, if Ponting does appear in a Kingfisher commercial alongside his other IPL teammates, the ACA said this would be in the context of a team endorsing Kingfisher rather than any individual player.

''We don't believe that would constitute a player endorsement, and therefore don't believe CA has the right to restrict players in this way,'' Marsh was qouted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

''The major issues with the IPL contracts relate to pre-existing playing and commercial obligations of the players, and there are some grey areas here.

''From the players' perspective, [the Federation Of International Cricketers' Associations] and the BCCI are currently negotiating the player contracts, and we are hopeful they will shortly be in a form that is acceptable to us.

''From here, players need Cricket Australia approval to play in the IPL, and whilst we are aware of Cricket Australia's concerns with aspects of the contracts, they are currently in discussions with the BCCI to resolve these issues.'' Earlier, captain Ricky Ponting termed CA's stance on IPL as ''unfair'' and said he expected the ACA to fight the board on the issue if the contracts he and his teammates had been offered came under threat.

''If they tried to do that, I'm sure the players' association would have something to say about it,'' Ponting said.

''It would be a little bit unfair if that was the case.'' UNI XC RAR LPB DS1336

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