WICB given a week before court action
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued an ultimatum to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), asking the board to provide the BDS$84 million in damages occasioned by the West Indies team’s “sudden, arbitrary withdrawal” from the India tour last October.
Reports are that in a letter addressed to WICB president Dave Cameron and the inter-governmental Caribbean community (CARICOM) secretary-general Irwin LaRocque, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said that failing to respond within a week from receipt of his letter would force the Indian board to file legal proceedings in Indian courts.
In a two-page letter, a copy of which ESPNcricinfo today reported it had in its possession, Patel reportedly said that the BCCI had acquiesced to the CARICOM request last November which stated the WICB be given a grace period of 40 days to respond to the BCCI’s original claim.
Patel had sent that letter on October 31, wherein he had broken the damages into various components. Calling the pullout carried by then West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo and his team after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala as a “monumental disaster”, Patel asked the WICB to respond within a period of 15 days from the receipt of that letter. The BCCI had earlier already said that it had cancelled all future bilateral engagements with West Indies pending resolution to the matter.
“When CARICOM intervened in the dispute and requested BCCI to hold off on its claims for a period of 40 days from the deadline stipulated in its claim letter, the BCCI acquiesced to the same in the hope that an acceptable resolution would be achieved through CARICOM’s able mediation,” Patel wrote in his second letter, dated January 20.
“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-day time period having long since elapsed.”
LaRocque had sent a letter to Patel on November 14, a day before the original deadline would expire, expressing WICB’s inability to compensate the BCCI and requesting more time.
But Patel stressed in the letter that even CARICOM would understand the BCCI’s annoyance considering Cameron had failed to present any workable solution.
“The BCCI cannot any longer hold off from pursuing its claims against the WICB in the appropriate forum being the courts in India. We trust that CARICOM will understand our position,” he wrote.
“If the WICB fails to comply with the requisitions contained in our letter dated 31st October 2014 within a period of 7 days from receipt of this letter, the BCCI shall initiate legal proceedings in the appropriate forum against WICB without further intimation.”
Last year in the correspondence detailing its losses, the BCCI said the cancelled tour had resulted in adverse financial ramifications and accused the WICB of having complete disregard for legal commitments.
“The consequences on the BCCI of not delivering a scheduled home tour to its members, sponsors, broadcasters and the fans are multi-fold and crippling,” the BCCI letter said then.
“The BCCI is faced with huge revenue losses, a loss of reputation and is at risk of losing valuable commercial partners. The consequences of cancellation of a committed home Tour during the biggest festival season.
“Diwali in India is a monumental disaster for the BCCI. It is during this season that our partners derive the most value from their rights. Our broadcaster had committed to its advertisers during this season and on account of your actions, is facing a severe crisis the effects of which are felt by the BCCI.”
Media rights made up the bulk of the losses with the BCCI estimating them at just over US$35 million, while ticket sales accounted for around US$2 million and the title sponsorship from Micromax was estimated at US$1.6 million.
The BCCI also factored in losses in kit sponsorship from Nike, team sponsorship, in-stadia sponsorship and stadium concessionaires, in the compensation package.
Since the tour debacle none of those involved and cited as being responsible, inclusive of the West Indies Players Association boss Wavell Hinds, Cameron or the players, have faced disciplinary action.
Bravo has since been relieved of the ODI captaincy, but chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd has stressed this has been for purely cricketing reasons. He has been retained however as one of the WICB contracted players. Kieron Pollard has also been axed from the ODI side, again for cricketing reasons, according to Lloyd.