The Pakistan Cricket Board, on Wednesday, sent a legal notice to its Indian counterpart for failing to honour an agreement to play a bilateral series, saying this had cost them $60 million.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2014 under which they were due to play six series – four to be hosted by Pakistan – between 2015 and 2023.
But New Delhi denied clearance for the series following strained diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan owing to ceasefire violations in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said legal measures were being sought as Pakistan was suffering lost revenues. “We have initiated the legal process by sending BCCI a Notice of Dispute under the Dispute Resolution Committee Terms of reference of the International Cricket Council,” Khan said. “PCB has claimed the losses and damage suffered by it, which comes to around 60 million dollars, as a result of BCCI’s breaches of the agreement.”
Under the agreement India were due to take on Pakistan in November-December 2015, but they refused to play in the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates or Sri Lanka. Pakistan is due to tour India in November-December of this year but that is also highly unlikely as New Delhi continues a boycott of bilateral series which started in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The attacks, blamed on militants from Pakistan, left 166 people dead including foreign tourists and brought the two nations close to another war. Pakistan did tour India for a short limited-over series in December 2012 but the arch-rivals have not played a full bilateral series since 2007.
The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also refused visas to Pakistan’s junior hockey team, wrestling team and squash players in the last 12 months. Khan said if the BCCI did not reply in seven days the matter would be taken to the International Cricket Council’s dispute committee.
Cricket matches between Pakistan and India attract millions of viewers around the world and generate huge revenues. Despite the bilateral boycott the teams have faced each other in ICC events and are are due to meet in a Champions Trophy match in Birmingham on June 4 this year.