In a major victory for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a dispute panel formed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has dismissed the USD 70 million compensation claim by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
In a statement the ICC said, “Following a three-day hearing and having considered detailed oral and written submissions, the Dispute Panel has dismissed the PCB’s claim against the BCCI.”
The ICC had previously stated and emphasised again on Monday that the panel’s judgment is final and binding.
The PCB had sought the compensation for India not playing bilateral series against Pakistan since 2012. Following this, the PCB, led by then president Najam Sethi, took the matter to the ICC dispute panel.
In a 25-page report, the panel headed by Michael J Beloff, with Annabelle Bennett and Jan Paulson as its members, announced its verdict on Monday.
The ICC dispute panel ruled that the document signed between the two boards did not seem binding. “It follows inexorably that the PCB’s claim must fail. If there was no obligation on the BCCI to engage in the tours in either 2014 or 2015, its omission to do so was no breach and gave rise to no damages claim,” it said.
The BCCI said it did not have government approval to play against Pakistan and engaged former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid as a witness in the inquiry conducted in Dubai last month. The PCB disputed that contention.
“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 the BCCIs helpful schedule to its written submissions. However many of the items in those documents said to reflect such awareness post date 9 April 2014 and the coming into office in that month of a new administration. Prior awareness is not by itself dispositive of whether Indian government approval was part of any contract between the parties as at that date. Subsequent awareness is simply irrelevant to that issue,” a part of the judgment said.
Prof Ratnakar Shetty who was one of the witnesses on behalf of BCCI told Mirror that it was a well prepared and well executed defence. “I feel happy for BCCI and introducing Salman Khurshid as a witness was the turning point,” he said.