Champions Trophy: ICC to depute lawyers at venues to keep check on ambush marketing

MUMBAI: It is not just the cricket that will be under close scrutiny during the Champions Trophy, which kicks off next month in India.

The International cricket Council (ICC) will depute a team of lawyers to the different venues to see that the interests of the sponsors are not compromised in any manner. It will use the help of its partner Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) to ensure that firms that have not associated with the event will be prevented from indulging in any ambush marketing.

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed, speaking to on the sidelines of a media interaction announcing that the Champions Trophy would be "dedicated to the Spirit of Cricket", noted that during the 2003 World Cup the ICC had to initiate litigation against certain parties surreptitously looking to take advantage of the high-profile event.

One way for the ICC to go about things this time round would be to send a warning letter in case of any instancees of violations, Speed said.

While addressing the media earlier, Speed said, “The Champions trophy is a great opportunity to show the world what a wonderful sport cricket is. The spirit of cricket means respect.

It means respect for your own captain and team, your opponents, the umpire as well as the tradition of the game which embodies the values of fair play. Today I call upon all players, officials to pledge themselves to use the Champions Trophy as a springboard in the quest to uphold that Spirit. We have already approached a number of top players and officials to support the concept and they agreed without hesitation.

“What goes against the Spirit though are actions like appealing for a catch when a player knows that he has not taken it cleanly, arguing a decision with umpire, verbally abusing the opponent. I would like to add though that it is not our aim to sanitise the game. Everyone wants to see passion on the field and friendly banter between opponents is fine. What is important though is that the concept of fair play is upheld."

The players who have committed to try and adhere to the Spirit of cricket include Indian skipper Rahul Dravid, opening batsman Virendra Sehwag, West Indies skipper Brian Lara, South African all rounder Shaun Pollock and Australian speedster Brett Lee.

The ICC chief also expressed sympathy with the victims of the Mumbai bomb blasts in July and said that every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of players and spectators during the ICC Trophy.

The ICC is also using the Champions Trophy as a platform to spread awareness about the Aids menace. Speed noted that India alone has 5 million people who are infected with the HIV virus. 25 per cent of the world’s population who have Aids stay in the countries that will participate in the Champions Trophy.

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