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Why didn’t BCCI put ‘Govt permission’ clause in contract, questions PCB chief

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has repeatedly avoided playing a bilateral series with Pakistan cricket team in recent times, saying that it doesn’t have government permission because of political tensions between the two countries

cricket Updated: Apr 23, 2018 23:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
BCCI,PCB,Board of Control for Cricket in India
Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team haven’t played a full bilatreal series since 2007-08.(Hindustan Times)

The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, said here on Monday that if reports that India needs the government’s permission to play Pakistan in a neutral venue are true then the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should have put that in the contract.

Here to attend meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Sethi said the question of security should not apply to Pakistan hosting India at a neutral venue.

READ | India-Pakistan bilateral series: Ball is in BCCI’s court, says PCB chief Najam Sethi

“There is no security issue if we play in a third country. We play other countries also in the UAE. But, apparently, the BCCI is having difficulty in ensuring that. They say they don’t have government permission. Our position is: why should you require government permission? We don’t take government permission. The ICC does not want interference from the government in affairs of cricket boards,” he said.

“In any case, when you were signing the contract, if government permission was such a major issue, you should have put it in the contract which you did not. So what is the problem?”

The PCB is seeking $70m in compensation claiming that the BCCI has violated a memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 that slotted six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. The matter is with the ICC’s Dispute Resolutions Committee.

READ | Pakistan cricketer Hasan Ali’s ‘wicket celebration’ at Wagah border causes stir

Sethi said it is for the tribunal to decide whether the BCCI has a contract to honour “and if there is a contract, then what is the claim for damages.” PCB has submitted a preliminary report but BCCI hasn’t, Sethi said. The ICC committee has said it would take three days to decide once all the documents are submitted, Sethi said, adding that he expected a verdict by October-November this year.

In the Future Tours Programme (FTP), which decides the international calendar, being planned India and Pakistan aren’t scheduled to play each other in the next five years. Sethi said PCB’s accepting that would hinge on what the ICC decides. “If the decision is in our favour, they will have to change the FTP,” Sethi said.

READ | Pakistan Cricket Board, BCCI set for face-off over Emerging Nations Cup

Sethi said that following successful tours by Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, an ICC XI and the West Indies, he is hopeful Pakistan would be able to again play all matches at home in the next two years.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 22:27 IST