As the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Dispute Panel quashed Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) compensation claim against the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) for allegedly failing to honour a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral series, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has expressed his happiness. “We are happy that our stand has been vindicated. What PCB termed as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was just a proposal letter,” CoA chief Vinod Rai told PTI. Thanking the people behind this arbitration, Rai said, “I would like to thank the BCCI legal team as well as everyone who worked on this arbitration.”
Rai further added that the BCCI will now file a counter-compensation case against the PCB to demand the cost of arbitration. “We will make a presentation to the panel and demand entire cost of compensation to be borne by the PCB for the arbitration where their claims have been dismissed,” he added.
The ICC dispute panel ruled that the document signed between the two boards did not seem binding. “…the PCB’s claim is dismissed. Costs are reserved,” the ICC stated in the one-line order that concluded a 26-page judgement.
“The judgement is binding and non-appealable,” it added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had demanded Rs 447 crore compensation after alleging that the BCCI didn’t honour the MoU that required India to play six bilateral series between 2015 to 2023.
The BCCI, on its part, maintained that the alleged MoU was not binding and did not stand as Pakistan failed to honour a commitment to support the revenue model suggested by India for the ICC.
The Indian board also said that bilateral cricket with Pakistan was subject to government clearance, which has not been forthcoming since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The ICC’s three-member dispute resolution committee was formed last year to look into the PCB’s compensation claim. The hearing took place at the world body’s headquarters here from October 1-3.
The issue goes back to 2014 when the erstwhile BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel signed a one-page document which BCCI always termed as the ”proposal letter” to play six bilateral series between 2015 to 2023 on home-and-away basis.
“It follows inexorably that the PCB’s claim must fail. If there was no obligation on the BCCI to engage in the tours in either 2014 or 2015, its omission to do so was no breach and gave rise to no damages claim,” it said.
The first of the proposed series was planned in November 2015 in the UAE but BCCI didn’t get permission from the government which is mandatory for any bilateral cricketing engagement with Pakistan.
(With PTI inputs)