By Shahid Hashmi
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has questioned the legality of the MoU signed between the two boards in April 2014 and in turn rejected the legal notice of their counterpart sent to them last week.
BCCI had lured PCB to back the Big Three in 2014 and as a reward signed a MoU under which the two countries were due to play six series — four to be hosted by Pakistan – between 2015-2023.
But there was a grave condition in the MoU which was that it were subjected to Indian government’s clearance.
BCCI then ruled by the autocratic Naryananswami Srinivasan had collaborated with Giles Clarke of England and Wally Edwards of Australia in their plan to rule the cricket world and take the lion’s share of the revenues. PCB had not alternative other than to “do as the Romans (in this cse Indians) do.”
But as expected the two series — Pakistan hosting in 2015 and then a tour of India in 2017 — were not possible due to New Delhi showing reluctance to give green signal for bilateral cricket stalled since 2008.
A furious and cash-hit PCB sent a legal notice to BCCI asking them to compensate the 64 million dollar (6.4 billion rupees) loss incurred due to the cancellation of the two series but BCCI has in tunr qiuestioned the legality of the MoU.
“We have to ascertain the legality of the MoU,” BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary told media after the SGM of the BCCI in Delhi. “It was just a letter from BCCI. It’s not a formal contract as yet.”
BCCI secretary said everything comes down to government’s permission.
“I can assure you this is a subject on which government has to accord permission. BCCI had already written to government in March 2017 regarding Future Tours Programme (FTP). So unless we get permission from them I cant make a comment.”
Insiders in the BCCI say that no one has seen the MoU and doubt whether it was documented or not. Since the signinging of the MoU all three big guns – Srinivasan, Clarke and Edwards — have been replaced in their boards and Big Three revoked in April’s meeting.
BCCI officials belive that with the Big Three amendment gone, the MoU has also no legality.
PCB had warned that if the BCCI doesn’t response their notice in seven days they will raise the matter in ICC Dispute Resolution Committee.