The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clarified its stance on photographic coverage and accreditation for the ongoing India-England Test series, which has seen several news and photography agencies boycott coverage of the Tests.
In a statement, issued by Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI Secretary, the BCCI said it "processes the numerous media accreditation applications it receives after undertaking an evaluation of applicants and their respective organizations".
The statement also says that "through the BCCI media accreditation process, reporters and photographers nominated by bona fide domestic and international news publications and news agencies, including AFP, AP and Reuters, were duly accredited.Â These accredited persons were presented the opportunity by the BCCI to supply an unlimited number of match images for editorial use by their respective publications and agency clients worldwide."
The statement doesn't explicitly mention Getty Images, who were the biggest photography agency not given accreditation, but it explains what the criteria for being granted accreditation were, as per the BCCI.
In the reasons listed out for those who were refused accreditation, the BCCI says, "In the BCCI's good faith opinion after due evaluation, their primary businesses involved the commercial sale and licensing of images rather than the supply of images to news publications for bona fide editorial purposes. These applications were duly rejected and the BCCI's decision was communicated to the applicants."
The BCCI emphasised that it didn't have a problem with images being shared for editorial purposes by news publications, but objected to their use in a commercial or licensing capacity. In other words, it did not object to photographers and photography agencies selling their photos to news publications for bona fide editorial purposes.
"The BCCI stands by its decision, which is based on the legitimate interest of prioritising and limiting stadium access to those persons and entities primarily involved in news reporting," it said.
The BCCI also clarified that there were no restrictions placed on the number or nature of images captured by accredited photographers.
"The BCCI wishes to clarify that it has not placed any restrictions on the number, nature or type of images that can be captured or published by accredited photo journalists from bona fide publications and news agencies.Â Any failure by accredited photographers to capture images at the venue or by accredited publications to provide photographic or other coverage is purely their own decision.Â Under the circumstances, the BCCI decided to supply and license a limited number of images from each day's play to all accredited media for their editorial use. This was neither the intended nor desired approach of the BCCI for the series but is a facility made available to all bona fide media outlets given the decision by accredited news agencies to not undertake coverage.
"The BCCI does not, and has no intention to, censor or limit bona fide news reporting.Â Any attempt by third parties to portray the BCCI's legitimate decision, as further described above, as media censorship grossly misrepresents the facts. The BCCI continues to provide accredited access to all bona fide news publications and news agencies who wish to cover the series."