LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are hopeful for a decision in their favour in the compensation case against India after hearings were completed on Wednesday in Dubai by a panel of the ICC, headed by Michael Beloff.
The PCB had filed the compensation case against India before the ICC Dispute Resolution Forum which heard both the parties at the ICC headquarters in Dubai between Oct 1 to 3. The PCB’s stance in the case is that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) had signed an MoU with Pakistan in 2014 in order to restore the bilateral series between the two countries which have remained suspended for the last 11 years. However the BCCI has refused to honour their commitment and have not implemented the conditions agreed in the MoU.
It was agreed between the two boards at the time of signing the MoU that in order restore the bilateral series, the PCB would have to cast a vote in favour of the Big Three under which formula the cricket boards off India, England and Australia were to get more share of the ICC funds. The PCB, therefore, cast a vote in favour of the Big Three and the MoU was subsequently signed.
Well informed sources from Dubai told Dawn that BCCI’s defence appeared quite weak on both the major points raised during the hearing. The BCCI took the plea that its government did not allow its cricket team to play Pakistan in the bilateral series. However, since this point is not mentioned in the MoU, so raising it as an after-thought does not augur well for the BCCI in the case.
Sources further said that BCCI’s second point that the Indian team could not travel to Pakistan on security grounds, since no major country has visited there in the last ten year, also failed to carry weight as the PCB time and again offered the BCCI to hold their part of the series in the UAE or at a neutral venue.
“According to the MoUs, four full home series with Pakistan were to be played in the UAE, from 2015 to 2023, in exchange for PCB agreeing to vote for the Big Three resolutions whereby India was expected to reap huge financial benefits,” sources close to the officials who appeared from Pakistan in the hearing told Dawn.
Ex-PCB chairman Najam Sethi and incumbent Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad appeared as witnesses of the PCB. Both had signed the MoU with then BCCI chief Srinivasan who refused to appear as witness in the hearings.
The sources further said that for not honouring that MoUs, the PCB claims that BCCI should compensate for lost revenue to the tune of US$70million approximately. “However, the BCCI says the agreement was not a binding and it was “understood” to be conditional on government approval which was not forthcoming but that is not a strong enough argument,” the sources said.
The written arguments by lawyers from both side will be presented to the tribunal next weektoldand the judgment is expected in due course.
Both the PCB and the BCCI hired the services of British lawyers to defend the case, which may be the first one of its kind in cricket history.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2018