ICC stops media from covering WC final

Last Updated: Apr 02, 2011, 12:59 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Mumbai: The International Cricket Council’s high-handedness continued on Saturday as the world cricket governing body stopped media channels from covering the all-important final of the 2011 cricket World Cup to be played between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai later today.

According to reports, just hours before the start of the match, representatives of the ICC stopped Zee News as well as a few other media channel reporters from entering the stadium.

Sources present at the stadium also said that other media channels responded by deciding to boycott the coverage and staged a walkout.

The Broadcast Editors` Association (BEA) has urged all the media channels to boycott the final.

Talking to Zeenews, BEA secretary NK Singh said that they strongly denounce the ICC`s autocratic stance.

"If the ICC has a responsibility towards the broadcasters, we also have a responsibility towards the nation," he said.

Earlier on Friday night, the ICC had lifted the ban on news television channels covering the world cup finals following intervention by Information and Broadcasting Ministry, but had decided to seek legal action against them for alleged violation of media guidelines.

"...the ICC has decided to commence legal action against the companies involved and will also seek to recover damages through the courts in India rather than bar the stations from the ICC Cricket World Cup final," cricket`s global governing body said in a statement.

In the morning, representatives of the channels, who had gone to attend the pre-match press conferences of the rival captains and ICC President Sharad Pawar in Mumbai were barred from covering the events.

A similar ban was imposed on the channels before the Indo-Pak semi-finals at Mohali and was lifted on the day of the match.

The I and B Ministry took up the issue with the ICC on behalf of the broadcasters specially a day after the cricket body was given tax exemption by the Union Government on its incomes in the World Cup.