Several electronic media banned from covering press conf

Mohali: Cracking the whip on electronic media who have breached the media guidelines for covering the ongoing World Cup, the ICC on Tuesday barred several channels access to the PCA stadium, depriving them of covering the pre-match press conferences.

The ICC had last night barred a large number of electronic media, mainly from India and Bangladesh from covering the remaining matches of the cricket World Cup for breaching the media guidelines.

ICC officials, armed with a list of banned channels, checked the media accreditations of all the journalists as they entered the stadium to cover the press conferences of Indian skipper Mahendra Singh and Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.

Only those channels who were not in the banned list were permitted to enter the stadium while others had to report on World Cup related matters 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) have decided to approach the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry on the matter.

BEA President Shazi Zaman has termed the ICC move as arbitrary and an infringement of media rights.

An ICC spokesman said that some non-rights holders will no longer be allowed to cover the practice session or the press conferences related to the World Cup for not adhering to the code of conduct and the media guidelines, which they had signed for accreditation.

The spokesman said this will be applicable to both the semifinals in Colombo and Mohali and the final in Mumbai.

ESPN-StarSports has the broadcast rights for the World Cup.

The non-rights holder (NRH) were given time till last night to give an undertaking that they will abide by the terms and conditions of media accreditation, failing which they would be disallowed to cover the event.

An ICC source said there has been 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.

The first semifinal of the World Cup between Sri Lanka and New Zealand is being held in Colombo today while the second semifinal between traditional rivals India and Pakistan is scheduled to be held here tomorrow. The final will be held in Mumbai on April 2.