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Botham & Co, mere spectators!

The team of David Lloyd, Sir Ian Botham, Paul Allot and Nick Knight could not perform on-air commentary duties for England's host broadcaster Sky Sports during the first one-dayer here yesterday.

MiD DAY learnt that Sky Sports did not receive the necessary permission from the authorities and thus had to settle for the Indian broadcast feed. The blackout was caused by a breakdown in negotiations between rights-holding production company Nimbus, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian government.

The ex-England cricketers had to sit on the opposite end of the media facility here at the Tata End and watch the match. In fact for the first few overs, English viewers were witnessed to a still photo of Uppal with Lloyd and Knight commentating through a phone line.

Meanwhile, TheĀ  London Telegraph reported that there was a row between the Indian host broadcaster and BCCI, which left English viewers without pictures. "Just a few minutes before the scheduled start of England's ODI match at Hyderabad, it emerged that a bust-up between the BCCI and the Indian host broadcaster had seen the board withhold rights to show the match," the English daily was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the Indian viewers too suffered as there was no commentary for the first three overs due to a satellite glitch in the broadcast feed. Hence, Paul Collingwood and Venkatesh Prasad, who are in Mumbai in the TV studio, had to fill in.

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