After Indian women’s team paid the price for BCCI’s inadequate explanation to ICC, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have threatened their neighbours with legal action for not fulfilling bilateral ties. They have claimed to have suffered substantial financial losses due to the lack of regular cricket matches between the two Asian giants and also warned of repercussions if their 2017 Champions Trophy clash does not take place.
“The ICC had asked the BCCI to show the letters or any other documents with their external ministry to confirm it didn’t send its team to play Pakistan in the ICC Women’s Champions League in UAE on advice of its government.”
“The ICC technical committee awarded points to our women's team declaring the series as forfeited by India because the BCCI couldn't show any document which confirmed they were stopped by their government from playing the series,” PCB’s Chairman Shahryar Khan was quoted as saying to the Jang newspaper.
With only the top four teams gaining automatic entry to the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England, India could have overtaken West Indies for the fourth slot if they managed to win two out of the three matches scheduled against the lower-ranked Pakistani side or had ICC split the forfeited points equally to both teams.
However, cricket’s governing body ruled in Pakistan’s favour after BCCI did not choose to respond to their emails nor did they offer any pertinent reasons for pulling out of the Pakistan series. As things stand currently, the bottom four teams in the ICC Women’s Championship will have to participate in a qualifying tournament alongside six other sides to compete for the remaining four spots.
India’s political stand-off with Pakistan could also cause catastrophic consequences for the men’s team during next year’s Champions Trophy. If they pull out of the highly anticipated encounter against their arch-rivals in Birmingham, MS Dhoni’s side might lose two vital points and jeopardise their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals.
In this regard, the PCB reminded their counterparts that they possess sufficient legal grounds to take action against them should they pull out of the clash. On India’s reluctance to play them in bilateral matches, Pakistan have asked BCCI to furnish evidence of their government preventing the arch rivals from meeting on the field.
Shahryar affirmed, “We now want the Indian board to provide the ICC with evidence that they have been told by their government to not play us in bilateral series despite a written MOU signed between the two boards in 2014 to play six such series between 2015 and 2022. We will seek legal recourse against the BCCI via the ICC platform and also proper compensation for the many series they have refused to play against us and caused us heavy losses.”
The last bilateral series between India and Pakistan took place in 2007 when the former played host to three Tests and five ODIs. However, they have met in ICC events such as World Cup, World T20, Champions Trophy as well as the Asia Cup.