The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to sue Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for damages related to the compensation case — regarding Indo-Pak series.
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the BCCI has written a letter to the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) seeking legal expenses of the compensation case — which the PCB lost last month.
The report claimed that BCCI has asked for about 15 crore Indian Rupees (Rs300 million Pakistan Rupees) to be paid by the PCB.
The PCB lost its legal battle against the BCCI in front of the DRC formed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the compensation case worth of $70 million USD for not honouring the alleged Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
According to the MoU, which was signed at the time of the formation of ‘Big Three’ in 2014, both arch-rivals were due to play six bilateral series between 2015-2023, four of which were supposed to be hosted by Pakistan.
But not a single series was materialised as the BCCI claimed that they’ve not received clearance from the federal government, due to which PCB filed the compensation case in front of the ICC.
The MoU was a reward to Pakistan for backing the “Big Three” plan according to which India, Australia, and England had the major share of power and revenues of world cricket.
According to the agreement, the six tours would include up to 14 Tests, 30 one-days and 12 Twenty20 internationals.
However, that arrangement fell apart and the BCCI refused to accept the MoU as a legal document, dismissing it as a “piece of paper”.
India-Pakistan ties, including sports and cultural contacts, plummeted after the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which left more than 160 people dead.
There has been just one bilateral tour since, when Pakistan visited India to play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals in December 2012 and January 2013.
MoU or Draft Document?
The issue goes back to 2014 when the erstwhile BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel signed a one-page document which BCCI always termed as the ”proposal letter” to play six bilateral series between 2015 to 2023 on home-and-away basis.
The ICC dispute panel ruled that the document signed between the two Boards did not seem binding.
It follows inexorably that the PCB’s claim must fail. If there was no obligation on the BCCI to engage in the tours in either 2014 or 2015, its omission to do so was no breach and gave rise to no damages claim, ICC Judgement
The first of the proposed series was planned in November 2015 in the UAE but BCCI didn’t get permission from the government which is mandatory for any bilateral cricketing engagement with Pakistan.
The PCB’s compensation claim was triggered by a loss of TV revenue for that particular series.
The Panel accepts that the awareness of the BCCI’s claimed need for government approval was indeed reflected not only in PCB e-mails but also in minutes of PCB board meetings, all of which were aggregated in the BCCIs helpful schedule to its written submissions, ICC Judgement.
India’s former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid was among those who were cross-examined during the dispute panel hearing. According to a senior BCCI official, he justified India’s refusal to play bilateral cricket with Pakistan, citing security concerns.
We are happy that our stand has been vindicated. What PCB termed as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was just a proposal letter. I would like to thank the BCCI legal team as well as everyone who worked on this arbitration, said Vinod Rai, Chief – CoA.
Earlier Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani, claimed that he was “against the case from day one”.
Mani added that once he took charge of PCB, the matter was out of his hands and he could not shut down the dispute.
When I took the charge as PCB chairman, the proceedings of the case were almost over and we were on the weaker side so there was no option left we had to pursue it. I was told that before the decision was made regarding taking BCCI to the court over the matter, the board consulted leading legal experts from England’s Queen’s Counsel and they gave green signal for the case. But I believe in any litigation, there is all ways a risk.
Commenting on BCCI’s ultimatum of filing expenses recovery claim, Mani said if PCB had won the case, they would have done that same.
“Obviously, BCCI will file a claim against us for the recovery of their expenses as we would have done the same if the result was in our favour,” he added.
Sources revealed that Najam Sethi was advised against proceeding with the dispute as it was a lost cause.
Despite that, Najam Sethi approved a budget of 1 million Pounds for the compensation of the case. Not only that, if Pakistan were to lose the case, which they have, the losing party has to cover the expenses for both parties.