ESPN STAR may sue ICC over CT

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The broadcasters of Champions Trophy in Pakistan, ESPN STAR Sports, are contemplating legal action against the ICC.

Updated: August 08, 2008 17:02 IST
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The broadcasters of Champions Trophy in Pakistan, ESPN STAR Sports, are contemplating legal action against the ICC to prevent it from ratifying the BCCI-backed Twenty20 Champions League schedule, starting just a day after the eight-nation event concludes on September 28.

The Indian board has said it would hold the Champions League featuring the champion Twenty20 teams from South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, England and the finalists of the Indian Premier League from September 29.

The ICC is due to hold a meeting in the next few days to ratify the dates for the Champions League.

But sources said that ESPN/Star, who hold global rights to all ICC events, are pre-empting that the ICC meeting will see majority of boards confirming the Champions League dates.

"They are worried because they are already issues with having the Champions Trophy in Pakistan and they fear that if the ICC members ratify the Champions League dates it would be a disaster for them in terms of generating enough revenues from the ICC event," one source said.

"ESPN/Star are contemplating basing their case around the question is the Champions League a domestic event or an international one and where does the ICC get involved in its dates," the source said.

The source said some of the ICC members themselves had advised the broadcasters to take the matter to court to get a clear ruling on the dates.

"Having the CL one day after the CT would spell disaster for the broadcasters and they would not be able to recoup their losses," he said.

The Indian board announced the Champions League from September 29 after talks with the England Cricket Board to have the Champions League.

"The broadcasters also want a clear ruling on the status of the T20 events being planned by other cricket boards because of the conflict or interest or dates that might occur with the ICC program," the source added.

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday said it had no problems with the Champions League.

"We believe that if the Champions League is held around four to five days after the Champions Trophy then there would be no fears of one of the event cancelling out the other," one official said.

The official hoped that an amicable solution would be found at the ICC meeting.

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