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PCB to take legal action against BCCI for failing to honor bilateral ties

Ram Kumar
31 Dec 2016, 17:37 IST
India-Pakistan World T20
India and Pakistan last played against each other during the 2016 World T20

What’s the story?

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has chosen to take the legal route against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its failure to honor bilateral ties between the two countries. After sending a legal notice to BCCI, PCB might initiate legal proceedings in London.

It is understood that BCCI had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014 to play six series against Pakistan. Aside from seeking financial compensation for their losses, PCB has also declared that Pakistan will not be touring India next year for a series scheduled according to the Future Tour’s Program (FTP). It is because BCCI did not recognize their efforts to hold their home series against India in either UAE or Sri Lanka in 2015.

In case you didn’t know

A similar situation had risen in the women’s game last month. In the ICC’s Women ODI Championship, each country played the other 7 teams in a series of three matches with the top 4 sides gaining automatic entry to the 2017 Women’s World Cup.

Despite PCB sending a series of emails with a willingness to host the India-Pakistan series in UAE, BCCI did not bother to respond. When the matter came to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) purview, Pakistan were awarded six points after BCCI failed to provide ‘acceptable reasons’ for pulling out of the series. As a result, Indian women’s team were denied a direct entry to the World Cup and will now have to participate in the qualifiers.

Heart of the matter

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said, “Our board has authorized us to take legal action against BCCI for not fulfilling their MoU. 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.” Pakistan’s board also claimed that they stand at suffering massive losses in the range of $150-200 million due to the cancelation of four scheduled series against India.

What next?

BCCI has the option of playing the Force majeure card. According to British law (as stated by Lexology), the term refers to exceptional events which prevent or hinder the performance of an obligation. Generally, these are events beyond the parties' control, which could not have been foreseen at the time the contract was entered into or prevented by the affected party.

The more pertinent aspect will surround how the jury reacts to BCCI’s defense which could focus on the political and diplomatic stand-off between India and Pakistan for quite some time. The 2012/13 series in India (2 T20Is and 3 ODIs) was the last bilateral affair between these two countries. Since then, they have been playing against each other only in ICC events.

Sportskeeda’s Take

PCB is well within their right to take BCCI to court. For various reasons, the majority of the resistance towards the resumption of bilateral ties between India and Pakistan stem from the Indian side. Assuming BCCI goes on to cite the ongoing political tension in the region as their reasoning, it remains to be seen if the explanation does indeed hold up on legal grounds.

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