LAHORE: 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.

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.” ithe documents concluded.

The BoG will also approve the model constitution made for the newly introduced provincial cricket associations which were set up after abolishing departmental and regional teams. Under the new PCB constitution, it has introduced six provincial cricket associations namely, Sindh, KP, Balochistan, Northern, Central and Southern Punjab.

Though the PCB constitution has been binding the board to form the provincial cricket associations bodies, forthwith, the PCB could not implement it at yet.

Almost all the domestic cricket season has been completed for 2019-20 without provincial set up as the PCB has been directly organising the matches of the all the domestic cricket.

The new system of six provincial teams had deprived many cricketers, playing for almost 40 departments, having role in first-class and Grade-II cricket. It has also made jobless 243 ground staff and curators.

According to the PCB documents to be presented before the BoG members for approval, all cricket associations are required to adopt the model constitution provided by the board for regulating their affairs. Accordingly a draft of the Model Constitution has been prepared by PCB’s external legal counsels and finalised in close consultation with relevant PCB officials/Senior Management including the chairman, CEO, director domestic cricket Operations and SGM legal affairs.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2019