STATING that it could no longer hold off on its claims for US$41.97 millions in losses from the premature abandonment of the contracted tour of India last October, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) until next Tuesday to respond to its demands for compensation.
In a joint e-mail addressed to WICB president Whycliffe Cameron and Caricom Secretary-General Irwin Laroque on Tuesday, honorary secretary Sanjay Patel warned that if the WICB failed to comply within seven days to the requisitions set out in the original letter of October 31 last year, the BCCI would “initiate legal proceedings in the appropriate forum (identified as the courts of India) against the WICB without further intimation”.
He referred to Caricom’s request for the BCCI to hold off for 40 days on its initial deadline of 15 days.
“The BCCI acquiesced to the same in the hope that an acceptable resolution would be achieved through Caricom’s able mediation,” he stated. “However, it is with regret that the BCCI finds itself in a position where its expectations have remained wholly unfulfilled with there being no progress in finding a solution that is acceptable to the BCCI despite the 40 days time period having long since expired”.
“The BCCI cannot any longer hold off from pursuing its claims,” he added. “We hope that Caricom will understand our position”.
The BCCI’s claims itemised losses from media rights, title and team sponsorship, kit sponsorship, stadia advertising and ticket sales. The West Indies quit the tour after four ODIs, leaving one ODI, one Twenty20 and three Tests – 17 days cricket – unplayed.
At the time, the BCCI said it was “shocked and extremely disappointed at the decision taken by the WICB”. It chided the WICB for its “inability to resolve internal issues with its players and allowing the same to affect an ongoing bilateral series”.
When presenters Simon Crosskill and Lance Whittaker sought the latest report on the matter in an interview with Cameron on the tv sports channel, Sportsmax, on Wednesday, the WICB head made no mention of receipt of Patel’s correspondence.
He said there had been discussions but noted that the BCCI’s annual general meeting was on hold pending a Supreme Court case involving its president, N.Srinivasan. In the interim, the BCCI was leaderless.
Stating that he hoped the WICB would not be saddled with having to pay the huge BCCI claim, Cameron saw the disputes mechanism of the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a possible way of settling the issue. Srinivasan is the current ICC chairman.
Coincidentally, in a crucial ruling yesterday, the Indian Supreme Court barred Srinivasan from contesting in the BCCI’s elections, which it ordered to be held within six weeks, until he ends his commercial interest in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Chennai Super Kings.