NEW DELHI, Nov 15: International news agencies suspended coverage of the Test series between India and England which began on Thursday after Indian cricket authorities refused to lift restrictions on photo agencies.

News outlets including Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press said they would not be filing any text or pictures from the four-match series after the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) barred photo agencies such as Getty Images and Action Images.

English media organisations such as the Daily Telegraph and the Press Association also said they would support the protest.

“AFP deeply regrets the suspension of coverage of this important Test series as cricket fans will be deprived of stories and photos of the game they love,” the agency's global news director Philippe Massonnet said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the BCCI has chosen to substitute objective editorial coverage with in-house photography, a dangerous principle that AFP, like other international news agencies, simply cannot accept.”

While the BCCI has only withheld accreditation from photo agencies, other news organisations fear the move sets a dangerous precedent.

The BCCI is to make a limited number of its own images available during the series.

The News Media Coalition, which represents a group of media organisations, has been leading the discussions with the BCCI.

It said the agencies had decided to halt their coverage in text and photo before the British press added their voice to the protests.

“Editors will be angered by this decision of the BCCI and confused by the motives,” said Bob Satchwell, executive director of Britain's Society of Editors.—AFP

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