A day before India meet Pakistan on the cricket pitch, the BCCI geared for an off-the-field 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 by the Pakistan Board.
Pakistan has claimed damages of approx ₹447 crore for India not playing any bilateral cricket with them despite a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which guarantees six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. The BCCI has asserted that the MoU is not binding on them and the PCB failed to honour some of the commitments made in the document. The ICC hearing in the matter is scheduled from October 1 to 3.
“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 said Tuesday.
The BCCI held a meeting with its legal team in Dubai which was attended by acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and CEO Rahul Johri.
“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.”
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“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,” said the official.
The PCB is also irked that India didn’t choose them as one of the six teams for the World Test Championship. 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.