New Delhi: Major international news agencies are likely to suspend coverage of the India v England series after the Indian cricket board barred photo agencies from covering the series starting in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The News Media Coalition (NMC), which champions freedom of the media, has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to lift the restrictions on the local and international picture agencies.

"In our view, the BCCI's move will hit fans and cricket sponsors alike. The BCCI has offered to make its own photographs available but this is no substitute for independent and objective press photography," NMC executive director Andrew Moger said in a statement.

NMC members include Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, the international photo agency Getty Images and Britain's Press Association.

Most of them have announced they would suspend text and photo coverage if the restrictions are not lifted.

"Despite numerous opportunities, the BCCI has yet to explain why it is discriminating against photographic agencies or indeed whether other news sectors will be targeted next." Moger said.

"We deplore this move and insult to organisations which have supported cricket worldwide."


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