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Media Releases

Dalmiya reacts to allegations over TV rights

The president of the ICC, Mr.Jagmohan Dalmiya, today reacted to an article published by the Sunday Times in London on May 28th containing certain allegations about his supposed handling of the sale of television rights to the next two World Cups and

The president of the ICC, Mr.Jagmohan Dalmiya, today reacted to an article published by the Sunday Times in London on May 28th containing certain allegations about his supposed handling of the sale of television rights to the next two World Cups and other ICC tournaments. Mr. Dalmiya said, "The report can best be described as mischievous and maligning. Most of the content was either untrue or written in a manner to twist the facts."
Mr. Dalmiya asked the ICC office in London to clarify the factual position relating to the Executive Board meeting held on May 2nd and 3rd at which the composition of the Consultative Group [the body responsible for handling television negotiations]. That information, reproduced below, refutes the allegations made in the Sunday Times article:
  • 1. Consultative Group - this group was formed at the Executive Board meeting on February 9th and 10th held in Singapore to advise the IDI directors in their preparation for finalisation of the negotiations with the bidders for the commercial rights to the 2003 & 2007 World Cups, the ICC Knock-Outs in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 and other lower-profile International events. In addition to yourself (Mr. Dalmiya) and myself (Mr. David Richards) as the current IDI directors, the ICC Vice President (Mr. Malcolm Gray), Chairman of Finance & Marketing (Mr. Ehsan Mani) and one representative of South Africa and West Indies (as the two nations for the next World Cups) were appointed to the Consultative Group.
  • At the May Executive Board meeting it was resolved that - following allegations against you (Mr. Dalmiya) as President arising from television negotiations for the 1998 Knock-Out (which allegations you are contesting in court) - the office of President and Vice President should be protected by neither office bearer being involved in face-to-face negotiations with the bidders for the above rights, but they would remain as members of the Consultative Group.
  • 2. Sunday Times article:
    • Correspondence has been received from Lord MacLaurin recommending that the sale of commercial rights be delayed until further consideration is given to the role and composition of the Consultative Group. That proposal has not been formally considered by either the Executive Board or the Group itself.
    • Meetings with the bidders which were planned for this week in Paris were cancelled last week because of timings considerations. We have to devote considerable time to the ongoing match-fixing issue, while we saw merit in giving the bidders more time to return the draft contracts, marked up with changes they may want.
    • The article contains a considerable number of factual errors, e.g. there has been no request made of you to stand down as ICC President and so it cannot be said that "you have refused to quit..." There was no discussion regarding the composition of the Finance & marketing Committee and you remain an ex-officio member of all ICC Committees. There are several other errors regarding the timing and process, the details of which are confidential.
    • The sale of commercial rights has not been suspended at this time. The Consultative group will meet this week by conference call to discuss Lord MacLaurin's proposal and to advise the IDI directors.
  • Mr. Dalmiya stated that the observations by the ICC office amply proved that the report by the Sunday Times had distorted the facts out of proportion. "It is now established that Lord MacLaurin's observations in his letter, published by the Sunday Times that the President and Vice president should not be in the Consultative Group, are not correct." Mr. Dalmiya said "It is totally untrue that the exercise of shortlisting the bidders was done by the President and Chief Executive or by the Executive Board in its meeting on 2 and 3 May. Shortlisting from seven bidders to three was, in fact, done by the entire Consultative Group during its meeting in Paris on 18th March and revised offers received from the bidders had no bearing on the shortlisting," he added.
    "There is also no truth in the contention of the Sunday Times that the telecast rights for the next two World Cups were put on hold on the insistence of Lord MacLaurin", the ICC President said. "The contents of the letter of Lord MacLaurin reproduced in the report were incomplete. In this letter, Lord MacLaurin had expressed his desire to be a member of the Consultative Group, on which no decision has so far been taken", he said. "The Consultative Group is very much continuing its work on the rights of the next two World Cups and other events and a teleconference of the group is scheduled tomorrow", Mr. Dalmiya informed.
    Mr. Dalmiya condemned the effort of the concerned newspaper to paint a picture that Lord MacLaurin is dictating the affairs of the world body. "Lord MacLaurin is certainly a prominent member of the ICC Executive Board and I have personally known him to be a perfect gentleman but through its report, the Sunday Times has made a deliberate effort to injure the reputation of the ICC, its President and Chief Executive, as well as that of Lord MacLaurin. The ICC has all along been moving and will continue to move on the basis of collective decision and wisdom", the ICC President said.
    JAGMOHAN DALMIYA
    President
    INTERNATIONAL CRICKET COUNCIL