The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its costs award in the legal proceedings between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). BCCI had won the legal battle against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the issue of bilateral cricketing ties. The PCB had requested the ICC to look into the matter after India refused to play two bilateral series with the arch-rivals citing lack of governmental clearance.
The Dispute Panel has determined that the PCB should pay 60 per cent of: “(a) the [BCCI’s] Claimed Costs; and (b) the administrative costs and expenses of the panel which fall within the scope of paragraph 11.4 of the T/R (including, without limitation, the fees of the Tribunal members, and the costs and expenses they incurred in relation to this matter), the figure whereof is to be supplied to the PCB by the ICC.” On behalf of the dispute panel formed under the terms of reference of the ICC Disputes Resolutions Committee (DRC), the ICC had announced that the panel had dismissed the PCB’s claim against the BCCI. The judgement is binding and non-appealable.
The PCB had claimed losses of up to USD 70 million after two series weren’t played in November 2014 and December 2015. While the PCB tried to move the ball through talks, the BCCI made it clear that the government had the final say in this matter. PCB then sent a dispute notice to the Indian board in May and to the International Cricket Council in November.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry had said that the stance of the BCCI office bearers stood vindicated after the judgement and he was also quick to thank all those who deposed for the board in the matter.
“I am yet to read the decision but this should now put to rest all speculation regarding this matter and it vindicates the stand of the then office-bearers of the BCCI in this regard who were engaging with the other boards on the FTP at that point in time. The BCCI is grateful to all those who deposed for the board and to its legal team, specifically Raghu Raman, Sr. Advocate and Ian Mills, QC,” he had said.
As per claims by the Pakistan board, then BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had signed the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between BCCI and PCB wherein the Indian and Pakistan cricket board had entered into an agreement that the two countries would play six series comprising at least two Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is between December 2015 and December 2023 with four of them being hosted by the PCB. The move never went forward as the BCCI cited lack of approval from the Indian government.
Herbert Smith Freehills along with British lawyer QC Ian Mills fought India’s case while PCB was represented by Khwaja Ahmad Hosain, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, Alexandros Panayides of Clifford Chance, London and Salman Nasser, PCB GM Legal Affairs. The ICC Disputes Panel was made up of three members — Michael Beloff QC, Jan Paulsson and Dr Annabelle Bennett.
Patel and former BCCI GM Ratnakar Shetty, who handled government relations on behalf of BCCI, were also cross-examined in the matter. ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, former BCCI chief, and Sundar Raman, former IPL COO, also turned up as witnesses. Interestingly, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has time and again made it clear that Patel’s communication was nothing but a ‘letter of intent’.