Four months after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took legal action against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), International Cricket Council (ICC) has finally taken notice.
To resolve the matter between the arch rivals over two unplayable bilateral series, ICC has formed a three-member dispute panel. The hearing is set to take place in Dubai between 1st and 3rd October and the decision of the panel will be final.
The ICC statement read:
The International Cricket Council today confirmed that the Hon Michael Beloff QC will chair the Dispute Panel in the matter of proceedings between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The other two members of the panel, which has been established under the Terms of Reference of the ICC Disputes Resolution Committee, are Mr Jan Paulsson and Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AO, SC. The hearing will take place in Dubai from 1-3 October and, as per Article 10.4 of the Terms of Reference of the ICC Disputes Resolution Committee, the decision of the Dispute Panel shall be non-appealable and shall remain the full and final decision in relation to the matter and binding on all parties.
According to PCB chairman, Najam Sethi, PCB has incurred a loss of up to $70 million in revenue due to BCCI not fulfilling their promises. Both series were included in ICC’s Future Tour Programme (FTP) where Pakistan was identified as the host. However, following political instability, India refused to honor the agreement.
Refusal of a signed agreement can be punished in various ways but it is for the three-man dispute committee to judge the best possible solution.
The dispute panel headed by Beloff with Paulsson (Pakistan representation) and Bennett (Indian representation) where they will discuss the matter in a three-day hearing.
It is worth pointing out that Pakistan’s representative, Beloff, was also the head of the ICC tribunal which banned Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif for spot-fixing in 2011.
The terms of reference state:
Unless the parties agree to settle their dispute in the meantime, the Dispute Panel shall decide the outcome of the case following deliberation in private.
They shall endeavor to reach a unanimous decision, but a majority decision shall suffice. No member of the Dispute Panel may abstain from voting on the outcome of any dispute, but any member may record a dissenting opinion which may be attached to the majority decision with the permission of the Chairperson of the Dispute Panel.
In theory, Pakistan has a great advantage since they have a signed report from Indian authorities confirming that they will play six series against Pakistan from 2015 to 2022. However, it remains to be seen what the stance of ICC’s dispute panel is on the matter at hand since the signed document India added the condition of government approval for the series.