PCB set to take legal action against BCCI

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India and Pakistan have met only in ICC tournaments and other multi-team competitions since 2012-13 © Associated Press

The PCB has decided to take legal action against the BCCI for not agreeing to play two of Pakistan’s home series and not fulfilling the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they had signed in 2014. The PCB will seek compensation from the Indian board and also confirmed that Pakistan would not tour India next year as scheduled in the FTP because the cycle of bilateral fixtures had to start with Pakistan as hosts.

The last scheduled series between the two countries, in December 2015, was scrapped amid political tensions though the PCB kept the window open to fulfill the commitment. The PCB had offered India the choice of the UAE or Sri Lanka as a venue but India neither agreed to nor denied the proposal.

“Our board has authorised us to take legal action against BCCI for not fulfilling their MoU,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters after the governing board meeting in Karachi. “They had signed to play six series in eight years, out of which two have already been missed. So now we are preparing a case against them so that we can say clearly that we deserve to be compensated.

“We are also involving the ICC in the case because they were party to our bilateral agreement and they were the witness to our signing. Now it’s their responsibility to support us and settle our losses.”

ESPNcricinfo understood that the PCB would send a legal notice to the BCCI and is likely to engage lawyers to pursue the matter in London. The PCB was encouraged to take a legal route only after the ICC recently awarded six points to the Pakistan women’s team after the BCCI failed to establish “acceptable reasons” for not participating in the planned bilateral series, which was a part of the ICC Women’s Championship.

“We did try to talk to them in meetings but never got a response so our patience ran out,” Najam Sethi, the head of the PCB’s executive committee, said at the same press conference. “So in the recent meeting we had intimated them that if it won’t go ahead we have no other option but to move on … enough is enough. When I signed the agreement I gave a roughly-estimated figure that these four series are going to fetch us $150-200 million, so we are suffering huge losses.”

According to the PCB, the BCCI had signed an MoU in 2014 to play six series with Pakistan between 2015 and 2023, with the first to be hosted by the PCB at a mutually agreed neutral venue. As has often happened in the past, strained political tensions put the series in doubt. The last full series between the countries, including Tests and ODIs, was when Pakistan toured India in 2007. Since then Pakistan have played only one limited-overs series in India, in 2012-2013, and the teams have only met in multi-nation competitions and ICC tournaments. India’s refusal to play has cost the PCB, according to the board’s estimate, over $80 million in terms of broadcasting and other commercial deals.

The PCB had agreed to the proposed ICC revamp – pushed through by India, England and Australia in 2014 – on the condition that it would be included in bilateral series against all Full Members, including India, in the new cycle. According to Sethi, the PCB president at that time, the board estimated Rs 30 billion (around $310m) from the bilateral agreements, including four series against India.

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