The BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and will claim Rs 200 crore in damages for the abrupt cancellation of the tour earlier this month. Apart from just monetary remuneration, the Indian cricket board has also decided to suspend all bilateral series against West Indies indefinitely. These were two of the biggest decisions taken and announced during the BCCI working committee in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The West Indies were supposed to play five ODIs, one T20 international and three Tests during their scheduled 52-day tour of India, but the visitors returned home after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala last Friday. A payment dispute between the West Indies cricketers and their board was cited as the reason, while the Indian cricket board, despite several requests to its Caribbean counterpart and the West Indies players, was left in the lurch.
The BCCI has arranged a replacement five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, although 12 days of cricket will be lost nevertheless. To make up for the financial losses, the BCCI has decided to take legal recourse.
“We will claim a damage of Rs 200 crore from WICB. This is as per the guideline draft prepared by our legal cell. The way they cancelled the tour was unethical and illegal. A bilateral agreement between two cricket boards is legally binding and can’t be cancelled. We feel hard done by and have no option but to pursue the case legally. We have suffered huge losses and, accordingly, will send a legal notice to WICB. There’s no question of playing against them till the matter is sorted out,” a senior BCCI member, who attended the meeting — also attended by ICC chairman N Srinivasan as the head of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, told The Indian Express.
The official BCCI release said: “BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against West Indies Cricket Board due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour.
“All bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended.
“The members appreciated the gesture of Sri Lankan Cricket Board (Sri Lanka Cricket) for having accepted our request to play five ODIs starting from November 2, at such a short notice. This tour is in lieu of their scheduled tour to India next year which will be reciprocated by India touring Sri Lanka in the months of July/August 2015.”
Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad will host the five matches against Sri Lanka. The ODI at Eden Gardens on November 13 will be a part of the venue’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Kolkata will also host the Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture the day before. VVS Laxman will be the speaker.
The working committee meeting was preceded by the IPL governing council meeting and the West Indies players were spared the consequences. “They will play,” IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal told this paper. “We discussed next year’s window and decided that the tournament will be played between April 9 and May 24. The venue for the opening ceremony hasn’t been decided yet,” he added.
BRIDGETOWN (Barbados): The WICB began an emergency meeting on Tuesday as the Caribbean body faced up to the crisis caused by the abandonment of their tour in India. Although WICB leaders, including president Dave Cameron, were tight-lipped before the meeting, the solemn mood as they filed into a conference room was sign enough of the gravity of the situation facing them. The board is expected to release a statement after their meeting later on Tuesday. On the agenda will be the tricky issue of how to try to repair relations with the BCCI, the most powerful domestic body in world cricket, and avoid a legal case which could cripple Caribbean cricket.
The WICB is also expected to discuss what, if any, sanctions to take against the players who rejected a deal struck between the board and the player’s union (WIPA). Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell on Tuesday publicly offered his services as a mediator. “Clearly there are going to be a lot of reverberations from this. There must be contracts and signed arrangements that involve costs and the image of our cricket team certainly will suffer,” said Mitchell. (Reuters)