At a time when the cricketers and fans are gearing up for the India-Pakistan clash in the Asia Cup, the BCCI geared up for a battle with the PCB by hiring a Dubai-based law firm and a British lawyer for next month’s ICC hearing on the compensation claim filed
Due to escalating political tensions, both the countries have not played a full bilateral Test series since 2007 when Pakistan last visited India for three Tests and five One-Day Internationals. They played a short series of three ODIs and two T20s in India in December 2012. But otherwise, both have faced each other only in the ICC organised events or in the Asia Cup.
The PCB, however, was not happy with their Indian counterparts for not honouring the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two boards in 2014. As per the deal, the two countries were set to play six senior series between 2014-2023, subject to clearance from the government.
However, the Indian government did not give BCCI the green light and consequently, the Indian cricket board could not resume bilateral ties.
Miffed with BCCI’s reluctance, the PCB has claimed damages of around Rs 447 crore.
The ICC hearing in the matter is scheduled from October 1 to 3.
A senior BCCI official confirmed the news while revealing the reason behind hiring the Dubai-based law firm and a British lawyer.
“The BCCI has hired Dubai-based law firm Herbert Smith Freehills along with British Lawyer QC Ian Mills to represent us at the Dispute Resolution Committee hearing. Since the case is happening in Dubai, we needed a Dubai-based law firm. Also, the ICC follows British law so, QC Ian Mills is on board. We will fight this case till finish,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The BCCI held a meeting with its legal team in Dubai. Acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and CEO Rahul Johri attended the meeting.
“Look, the PCB has been fighting this case based on a one-page letter signed by erstwhile secretary Sanjay Patel which stated that we are ready to play six bilateral series in an eight-year cycle. Now there were a few terms and conditions applicable for the series to become a reality,” the official said.
“That letter had a specific condition that BCCI will play bilateral series against Pakistan only if the PCB votes for the revenue sharing model and ‘Big Three’ Concept at the ICC Board meeting.
“However, the PCB voted against the plan which means they voted against India. So, our agreement was based on Pakistan’s acceptance and it fell through. So where’s the question of compensation,” added the official.
The BCCI has also not kept Pakistan in its Future Tour Programmed for 2019-2023 cycles, snubbing the neighbouring country amongst its six proposed opponents for the World Test Championship beginning in 2019. It has irked the PCB too.
When queried, the official replied:
“They voted for a four-year FTP cycle (bilateral series) from the existing eight-year cycle. And we decided on our six opponents for the World Test Championship. I think it’s a fair deal.”
“Also, we have time and again maintained that any bilateral series with Pakistan is subject to approval from Government of India. We cannot move ahead if we don’t get government nod,” he added.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan will take on each other in the Asia Cup on September 19 in Dubai.