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No talk with players' sponsors, says Indian board

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has completely ruled out any talks with the sponsors or agents of the players but reiterated that it was willing to hear out the players on the controversial endorsements issue.

"We are ready to talk to the players if they approach us (on the matter). Players can certainly send to the Board their representation on the matter. But we can't talk to advertising agents or others. We can talk only with the players," BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters today. "Let the players come to us. We'll see."

Revealing that the Board had received letters from players' sponsors on the matter, Shah totally ruled out any talk with anyone other than the players directly. "What's the use," he asked. Shah also said the decision taken by the working committee to cap the number of endorsements per player to three on April 7 stood unchanged. "It's the working committee's decision to limit them to three per player. I cannot change it," he said. The board's all-powerful committee took the decision to set a limit to the number of endorsements per player at its review committee meeting in Mumbai last week.

Shah also added that the board has not compelled any player to take part in the All India Twenty20 tournament to be held from April 15-21, but expects most of the top players to turn out for their respective teams. "The board has not made it compulsory for all the players to take part in the Twenty20 tournament, but I think most of them will play."

The final of the tournament, with teams split into two groups, is to be held in Mumbai on April 21, and on the day before the selectors are to meet in the same city to choose the Test and ODI squads for the Bangladesh tour in May.