World Cup in image rights threat - Cricket - Sport - The Independent

World Cup in image rights threat

Arrangements for the Cricket World Cup next spring are being threatened by a dispute over players' image rights. It is the first time that the old game has been confronted by this modern dilemma, but unless it is resolved quickly the damage to the tournament could be catastrophic.

The game, its practitioners, or both, stand to lose millions of pounds if the two parties fail to reach agreement. While it is both unthinkable and unlikely, the players have the ultimate sanction of refusing to participate in the biggest cricket competition of all.

The International Cricket Council are negotiating with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (Fica), who represent players' organisations in seven countries. The disagreement concerns what players can do to earn money outside the game.

At present the players' contracts for the World Cup state that all personal sponsorship contracts should be put on hold for the duration of the tournament. This would enable the ICC to use players exclusively in harness with the tournament's commercial partners, which leads to the added complication of who gets what. For example, if a player has a contract with the 1910 Fruit Gum Company he would not be entitled to endorse their gums during the tournament. Instead, he would have to make himself available for one of the World Cup's sponsors, who include South African Airlines, Pepsi Cola and Hero Honda.

The discussions are given an added twist by the involvement of David Graveney, who is co-chairman of Fica (as well as chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association in England) and, coincidentally chairman of England's selectors. A possible, if improbable, upshot is that Graveney could be instrumental in picking a squad for a tournament he would advise the players not to play in. It is a delicate conundrum, and the conciliatory nature of the ICC's stance suggests they know it. But they insist the limitation was imposed to protect the tournament's sponsors from "ambush marketing".

The ICC's general manager of cricket, David Richardson, said: "Fica have raised this matter and we are working through some issues to try to arrive at some common ground. Clearly the players should be able to use their image and identities, but it is important that this is not done to the detriment of organisations whose support allows tournaments such as the World Cup to be staged.

"Commercial partnerships are essential to the sport's success and the ICC will ensure that those rights are fully recognised by all cricket's stakeholders. It may take a little time but I am confident that we will reach an agreement."

There may be some room for manoeuvre because the contracts were issued before the present ICC regime took office. Both Richardson and the chief executive, Malcolm Speed, are trying to uphold a position with which they were not originally involved.

Graveney pointed out that the timing of the World Cup should hardly affect existing sponsorship contracts. "It's a potentially huge situation and it's the way sport is going. Image rights might apply to every single cricketer. It's a question of allowing players to fulfil their obligations under their contracts and ensuring they are protected accordingly. There has to be some provision for the players to continue their usual endorsements or sponsorships."

While Fica stress that they represent all cricketers, the ICC privately hope that image rights in reality apply only to a handful of superstars.

Discussions have taken on a note of urgency. Squads of 30 have to be announced by the end of November. Although they will not be pruned to their final 14 until February, the date which counts to all sponsors.

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week