PCB takes legal route; Rs ₹440 crore threat to India


 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sent a legal notice to the BCCI, initiating proceedings against the Indian cricket board to claim damages and compensation for India’s denial to play agreed bilateral series against Pakistan. The two boards in 2014 have agree to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Four of these series were to be hosted by PCB.

India, primarily due to prevailing tension and Pak-sponsored terror in the country, has declined to play any cricket with the western neighbor in India, Pakistan or at any other neutral venue.

Pakistan Cricket Board has now opted to take legal recourse to start a case in ICC’s despite resolution committee. “The PCB has sent to BCCI a Notice of Dispute under the Dispute Resolution Committee Terms of Reference of the ICC (ICC TORs) for breaching the agreement executed between PCB and BCCI in respect of the FTP for the period 2014-2023. PCB has claimed the losses and damage suffered by it as a result of BCCI’s breaches of the agreement,” said PCB in a statement on Wednesday.

The PCB had consulted its legal advisors, a law firm in London to prepare its case to get compensation from the BCCI.

The MOU, signed in 2014, was part of a deal between the two boards under which Pakistan supported the Big Three governance and financial model in the ICC. The source said that in the legal notice Pakistan had pointed out that the BCCI didn’t honour the MOU despite it being signed in the presence of the ICC officials.

“The notice also says that due to India’s repeated refusal to commit itself to the MOU, three series have not been played since 2015 two of them which Pakistan was supposed to host,” a PCB official had told PTI.

The PCB claims that it has lost around an estimated US$ 69.5 million (Rs 440 crore approx) due to India’s refusal to play the series agreed with Pakistan. PCB, faced with massive financial crunch, is desperate. “We were even willing to host our series at neutral venues as part of the deal but even then the BCCI kept on stalling us and then eventually refused,” the official said.

 

The notice, InsideSport is in possession of a copy, says “The quantum of loss at 1st May 2017 is US $ 69,576,405. The BCCI is liable to compensate the PCB for this loss. Failing to honour the agreement and damage to the PCB in respect of which the PCB reserves all its rights.”

The BCCI administration dismisses the claims. Talking the InsideSport, as BCCI official said there exist no breach on our part. “Technically you can say that BCCI did not take its tour to Pakistan in December 2015. However, that cannot be a breach under law as we did not have permission from our government. The law is clear on this. If a contract cannot be executed lawfully, it cannot be enforced. BCCI cannot defy the rule of the land. If mandatory permissions were not in place, how could have BCCI gone ahead with the tour.”

The PCB will now decide its next course of action after receiving an official response from the BCCI. “We are prepared to go the courts or the ICC disputes resolution committee to get the compensation,” the PCB official says.

The BCCI has to repeatedly turn down offers from the PCB for bilateral matches as it did not get required clearances from the Indian government.

According to the rule 5 of the TORs set by the ICC’s dispute resolution committee BCCI will have to reply to PCB’s notice in seven days, after which in next 7 days both the parties will meet for negotiations in good faith, failing which another meeting will be held in next 7 days with the assistance of the ICC Chairman.

“In the event that discussions between the parties fail to resolve the dispute, the parties shall make one final attempt to resolve the dispute through good faith discussions with the assistance of the ICC Chairman (or, where the ICC Chairman is in any way involved in or connected to the dispute, the Chairman of the ICC Executive Committee), whether in person or via telephone or video conference. Any such meeting should take place as soon as reasonably practicable,” said the article number 5.1.5 of TORs.

The good faith negotiation should not last for more than 45 days and if both the parties fail to successfully resolve the matter within forty-five days then the matter will finally be sent to the dispute resolution panel. “The decision of the Dispute Panel shall be non-appealable and shall remain the final and final decision in relation to the matter and binding on all parties,” the ICC has confirmed in the TORs set for dispute resolution committee.


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