Pakistan Cricket received a serious jolt following the decision of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) of the ICC that dismissed $70 million compensation claim of PCB against the BCCI for not honouring bilateral series agreement signed by the two boards in April 2014.
According to the MoU, signed by former chairman Najam Aziz Sethi and the then BCCI secretary, both countries had to play six bilateral series over the course of eight years between 2015 and 2023.
The PCB’s claim had generated a lot of media interest in Pakistan and abroad and even passionate followers of the Game of Gentleman were hoping for its positive outcome. Sethi had also made huge claims regarding the claim. He influenced or convinced the governing board members who approved over one billion rupees to contest the case.
However, all Sethi’s claims and loud talks were frustrated by the DRC Panel which assessed that “the PCB argument that the MoU was a quid pro quo was simply a wishful thinking”. In the Panel’s view, “the reasonable observer apprised of all the facts would conclude that the MoU was no more than a declaration of intent. It contained a moral obligation but not a legal one”. It was simply stupid on part of Sethi led PCB to pursue something that was not obviously coming in their way.
The DRC further said in its verdict that the April letter – the MoU – had specific mention that the letter won’t be valid if the resolutions are not passed at the ICC Annual Conference in 2014. It further said that while there was no specific mention of government approval being needed for the tours to go ahead in the MoU, it reflected in PCB meetings and email exchanges.
“The Panel accepts that the awareness of the BCCI’s claimed need for government approval was indeed reflected not only in PCB emails but also in minutes of PCB board meetings, all of which were aggregated in BCCI’s helpful schedule to its written submissions,” the DRC wrote in its final judgment.
We never knew the contents of the MoU. Sethi kept the whole nation in darkness. Whereas from the day first the BCCI was confident that the agreed MoU had no legal binding in contrast to the FTP Agreement which, if signed by the two boards.
However, it is sad that the DRC Panel showed its bias towards Pakistan and unnecessarily mentioned various terrorist attacks inside India and the disputed Kashmir. “Such attacks were said to have been perpetrated by Pakistan-based terrorist organizations”, the 25 page decision said.
The PCB should lodge a strong protest to the ICC over these disparaging remarks from the DRC Panel. Why the Panel mentioned terrorist attacks in its decision is beyond the comprehension of a sane cricket fan! Despite of these attacks the foreign teams continued to visit India but Pakistan was unjustly made an exception.
Few weeks ago Ehsan Mani had disgraced himself by uploading the allowances (on the PCB Website) received by Sethi during his time in the Board. It is now time for him to salvage his bruised image. He must apprise the nation that how much PCB amount has been wasted on fighting a weak case? How much fee paid to the lawyers? How much money was spent on the foreign tours of the PCB officials including Sethi and Subhan during the course of the preparation of the case?
Former chairman of the PCB Shaharyar Khan and Subhan Ahmad are equally responsible for the approval of exorbitant money only to be wastage to satisfy the ego of a controversial person who was a non-entity in cricket. The dummy members of the governing board should also be grilled for giving approval of over one billion rupees to fight the case. If Mani failed to apprise the nation, his own credibility and integrity will be seriously damaged
The ICC decision has badly exposed the ability or utility of incumbent COO Subhan Ahmed who is a regular participant of ICC meetings for the last one decade. I am sure that he had also read the contents of the MoU and knew beforehand the possible fate of the PCB’s case. He didn’t resist his boss. He should have taken a firm stand as over one billion PCB money was at the stake. He has committed a crime. It is Subhan’s old habit to please the present boss and then put blame on him when new chairman comes in.
The PCB while recording its disappointment has hinted that it will decide its future course of action “after detailed deliberations and consultation with the stakeholders”. The BCCI is rejoicing the decision for obvious reasons.
It has also threatened the PCB to approach the DRC Panel to recover the legal cost from the PCB. This can be a real source of concern for Mani. So instead of considering the future course of action, the PCB should only consider how to tackle or appease BCCI!