The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has filed its claim for damages before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against Indian broadcaster IMG Reliance for pulling out from its contract to broadcast the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the midst of the competition reported DAWN.
IMGR refused to work with the PSL following political tensions between Pakistan and India which involved activity at the border.
According to a PCB document, which are prepared to be presented before the Board of Governors (BoG) meeting scheduled for Nov 22 in Lahore, the case of damages was filed after receiving no reply from the IMGR against the legal notice sent to it on Oct 21, seeking compensation for the loss.
According to the documents seen by Dawn, the PCB has executed an agreement with IMGR for the provision of production services for the 2019 edition of the PSL.
After covering seven matches of the 2019 edition, IMGR suddenly informed PCB that it would not be continuing to provide production services any further for the remaining matches of the tournament and unilaterally terminated the production services agreement dated January 24, 2019.
“The breach of contract by IMGR could have resulted in the remaining PSL matches not being broadcast on television; this would have severely damaged the standing and reputation of the PSL. PCB was obliged to make alternative arrangements virtually overnight and at an increased cost,” the documents state.
Furthermore the PCB pleads: “A legal notice was sent to IMGR on 21st October, 2019 seeking compensation (amount of compensation is not mentioned in the documents) for such additional costs and damages for breach of contract within ten (10) days from the date of issuance (legal notice); however, only a holding response was submitted by IMGR and no detailed explanation given till the expiry of the deadline afforded to IMGR.
“As per clause 28.3 of the Agreement (reproduced below), disputes between the parties shall be referred to arbitration under London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
The rules state: “Unless otherwise stated herein, any and all disputes arising out of in connection with or in relation to this agreement, including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the LCIA Rules, which rules are deemed to be incorporated by reference into this clause 28.”
“PCB has now initiated arbitration proceedings and filed its claim for damages against IMGR before the LCIA.” the documents concluded.
The PCB’s relations with IMG Reliance soured thereafter. For the five-match ODI series against Australia in March, and the recently concluded limited-overs internationals against Sri Lanka in Pakistan, the PCB had stipulated to Blitz and Trans Group that IMG Reliance would not be involved with the process in any way, and that the PCB had blacklisted them.