Sethi: 'Indo-Pak cricket depends on ICC decision'

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) feels that its cricketing relation with India heavily depends on the decision of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) dispute resolution committee (DRC).

According to Sethi, who is the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), keeping in view India’s reservation against playing bilateral series in India or Pakistan, the Asia Cup was moved to UAE and the Emerging Cup was partly allotted to Sri Lanka.   -  AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) feels that its cricketing relation with India heavily depends on the decision of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) dispute resolution committee (DRC).

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ICC meeting here on Monday, PCB chief Najam Sethi said the Future Tour Programme (FTP) might be changed in case the DRC verdict favoured Pakistan.

“The current FTP that everybody else is planning for the next five years has more or less been settled. India has not slotted any games for Pakistan. In principle, we have said ‘Alright. If this is the way you want it fine, but we will only agree to this FTP subject to what decision is taken in the DRC. If the decision is in our favour, they will have to change the FTP.

“Whatever they do here regarding the FTP and direct bilateral series between India and Pakistan matches is subject to the ICC decision, which should be available by October or November,” said Sethi.

Sethi informed that Pakistan had submitted its position to the DRC. “We have gone to the tribunal saying India has violated a contract and we have put forward a figure of $ 70 million for the two series that India were supposed to play and has not played with us. So the two issues before the tribunal are whether there is a contract that India has to honour and if there is a contract then what is the claim for damages.

“We have submitted our preliminary position in writing. The Indians have not yet submitted their position in writing. I think within the next month or so the Indian point of view will also be available...The DRC has said that once all the paper work and documents are in from both sides they will take three days to take a decision.”

According to Sethi, who is the chairman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), keeping in view India’s reservation against playing bilateral series in India or Pakistan, the Asia Cup was moved to UAE and the Emerging Cup was partly allotted to Sri Lanka.

“From what I hear in the media, the BCCI is not ready to play us even in a neutral venue. Our position is that the whole notion of a neutral venue came up when security was a consideration.

“But there is no security issue if we play in a third country. Apparently, the BCCI is having difficulty in ensuring that they can do it. They say they don't have Government permission. Our position is that why should you require Government permission? We don't take Government permission. The ICC does not want interference from the Government in affairs of cricket boards.

“In any case, when you were signing the contract, if Government permission was such a major issue, you should have put it in the contract. You did not.”

A top BCCI official reiterated that the Board has to get the Government clearance for going ahead with an India-Pakistan match.