Pakistan News

Shahryar Khan lashes out at Najam Sethi

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shahryar Khan has blamed Najam Sethi for financial loses that the board suffered in compensation case against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

After losing the legal battle of compensation against BCCI, PCB suffered yet another blow, when the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday that the board will have to pay legal expenses of the case as well.

While talking exclusively to Daily Express, Khan said: “The board has already suffered substantial financial loses after India refused to play against Pakistan, and now PCB will have to bear expenses of the case as well. This is all on Sethi. From the day one, I told him that our case was weak. We will suffer more financial loses, but he didn’t listen.”

He added: “When PCB filed the case in ICC, I was not the chairman. It was filed during Sethi’s tenure.”

Khan — who held the chairman office twice — suggested that he would have solved the dispute through negotiations.

“I was completely against the case. Instead of going to the ICC, I would have solved it via dialog. We were running backdoor diplomacy to solve the dispute,” he said. “I also had several discussions with BCCI officials and ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar over the issue. They also had the same view.”

When asked about, why he didn’t take firm stand on the issue? He replied: “Everyone is aware about the situation back then. So I don’t have to repeat it again.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday ordered the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to pay 60 percent of the amount claimed by the Indian cricket board and the ICC panel, in a legal fight between the two cricket boards.

The PCB has been ordered to pay the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s “claimed costs…and the administrative costs and expenses of the [ICC] panel”.

The amount is estimated at Rs150 million (17 crore PKR), sources said. The judgment is binding and non-appealable.

The ICC had last month dismissed PCB’s claim for compensation from BCCI over its refusal to honour an agreement to play bilateral series.

The PCB had demanded 70 million dollars in compensation from India, saying that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2014 had guaranteed six India-Pakistan bilateral series between 2015 and 2023, four of which would be hosted by Pakistan.

Responding to ICC’s decision today, the PCB said, “It was disappointed in the original decision as well as the award given against it.”

“The award of significantly lesser costs than claimed by BCCI reflects that PCB’s case had merits,” the board further said.

Earlier, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sued Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for damages related to the compensation case — regarding Indo-Pak series.

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.

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