By Syed Khalid Mahmood
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has issued a legal notice to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and by the look of things the chances of an out of court settlement are remote at the moment.
The notice was issued to the ICC President, David Morgan, through Mark Gay of DLA Piper, London, an experienced hand in the field of sports legal issues, having previously represented PCB as well.
In the legal notice the ICC has been asked to rescind the decision of the Executive Board being ultra vires and void.
The PCB has also informed the ICC that they would be shortly referring the matter for determination by an arbitral tribunal appointed in accordance with the Rules of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland under the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee.
The PCB officials feel hard done by the ICC decision taken by its Executive Board on April 17. The PCB has contended that the views of the Sri Lankan captain, Mahela Jayawerdene, and ICC match referee, Chris Broad, were presented but the interview CD of the bus driver of Sri Lanka team that PCB had sent to ICC was never presented at the meeting and its transcript was circulated by e-mail to members after the meeting instead.
"The PCB has not yet received the minutes of the said meeting of Executive Board, therefore the exact tenure of the decision is not known. But in reality, the decision of ICC is actually being acted upon. We can see that the Central Organizing Committee (which originally comprised of representatives of all four co-hosts) convened its meeting in Mumbai wherein PCB was not invited,” he added.
The PCB chief did not mince words in stating that the ICC Executive Board, while taking this decision, completely failed to take into account that the law and order situation in the entire sub-continent is not exemplary;
He pointed out that Bangladesh recently faced mutiny by its armed forces and refused to host Pakistan on accounts of security concerns which resulted in cancellation of Pakistan Series in Bangladesh in March 2009.
“Sri Lanka is embroiled in a long standing civil war. India due to law and order situation had to relocate IPL Series to South Africa although the official reason given is IPL schedule clash with the national elections. Recently Australia refused to send its Tennis Team to India for Davis Cup which was due to be held in Chennai, India. If security and safety was the only reason, no security assessment of the other three co-hosts has been done,” he added.
Ijaz Butt reckoned that under the host agreement, prior to taking any decision on relocation of matches, the PCB should first have been given an option to remedy the situation which was never done.