Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Najam Sethi has said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to pay the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) $70 million if they fail to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed in 2014.
The MoU stated that from 2015 to 2023, India and Pakistan would play six bilateral series, but the series scheduled for 2015 did not go ahead and the one supposed to take place this year doesn’t seem likely to take place either.
While the BCCI claim that the MoU is “just a letter” and not a formal “contract”, Sethi, who is head of the PCB’s Executive Committee, insists that the document is legally binding.
“We have discussed this with some of the leading legal minds around, both in Pakistan and abroad, and all of them agree we are in a position to take legal action against the BCCI if they do not play us in a series hosted by us,” he said. “We have had two meetings with the BCCI. We will have a third meeting in which the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be involved.
“If they agree to play us then that is great, otherwise we will be taking action against them.”
Should the BCCI not agree to honour the MoU, Sethi confirmed that the PCB will look to be compensated.
“They will have to pay us to the tune of $70 million for the first home and away series,” he said.
Sethi will succeed Shaharyar Khan as PCB chairman once the latter’s tenure comes to an end in August. Once that happens, Sethi reiterated that the PCB will continue to oppose the Big Three when it comes to the ICC’s governing and financial models.
Sethi also admitted he was surprised that former BCCI president and current ICC chairman Shashank Manohar was the person who spearheaded the campaign to end the reign of the Big Three.
“This is the stance of not only the chairman but of all of the PCB,” he said. “And this will not change once the current PCB chairman’s tenure ends.
“It’s interesting that it was former BCCI chairman Shashank Manohar that got the ball rolling for this movement against the big three, and now both Cricket Australia and the England Cricket Board are at the forefront of it.
“So in a way, the boards that made the big three played the biggest part in it its dismantling.”
While the Big Three era is set to be extinguished at the next round of ICC meetings, Sethi conceded that an air of uncertainty still lingers when it comes to the new revenue sharing system.
“India are holding out for a bigger share of the revenue,” he said. “The other members agree that India should get the lion’s share since they bring in the most revenue, we are yet to come to an agreement on what that share should be.”