Mumbai: The International Cricket Council has barred electronic media from covering the all-important cricket World Cup final for breaching the media guidelines.
According to sources, the reporters present at the ground on Friday were forced to leave the premises and even stopped from covering the practice session.
Reportedly, ICC`s Media Rights & Broadcast Manager misbehaved with reporters who wanted an explanation of why were they being forced out of the ground.
Despite marathon negotiations to resolve the matter last night, the News Broadcasters` Association (NBA) and the ICC could not reach an agreement on terms of coverage.
The TV channels, who had faced a similar ban ahead of the semifinal between India and Pakistan in Mohali before the Information and Broadcasting Ministry stepped in to help their cause, were today barred from the pre-match media conference of both Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara.
During the Mohali match, the ICC officials had allowed only those channels who were not in the banned list to enter the stadium while others had to report from outside the venue.
As a result, there were hordes of reporters from the print media but only a handful of television cameras at the press conference.
The Broadcast Editors` Association (BEA) and the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) had then approached the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry on the matter.
ICC has accused channels of a number of broadcast violations during the entire tournament and the game`s governing body has repeatedly brought it to the notice of the offenders. Despite the warning, they continued to breach the guidelines, prompting the ICC to take stern action.
Ex cricketers slam decision
Several ex-cricketers, including World Cup winning Indian captain, slammed the autocratic decision of the International Cricket Council, terming it as unfair.
“How can the media be kept out of the all-important final match,” said Kapil.
I&B ministry to intervene?
Meanwhile, sources in the Information and Broadcasting ministry have said that the ministry is trying to reverse the decision.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad has slammed the ICC’s actions saying that cricket is not just a game but a religion in India. He also said that Sharad Pawar must explain the ICC’s move.
The ruling Congress party has also termed the ban as unjustified and also said that they hoped the issue is resolved soon.