Former PCB chief Shahryar Khan    Getty Images
Former PCB chief Shahryar Khan Getty Images

Karachi [Pakistan]: Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan has denied calling the PCB‘s case against its Indian counterpart for not honouring Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to play bilateral series as `weak`. In 2014, both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the PCB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which stated that the two arch-rivals will play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

According to the 2014 agreement, India was scheduled to play six series against Pakistan, four of them were going to be Pakistan’s home series. While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan’s request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants its Indian counterpart to honour its commitment under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India.

Strongly contradicting a statement attributed to him which said that Pakistan’s case against BCCI for not resuming bilateral cricketing is weak, Shaharyar asserted that why he would make such statements especially when he had helmed the PCB as its chief.

“I strongly deny a statement attributed to me in the media in which I am supposed to have said that the PCB’s case against the BCCI is weak. How could I say such a thing when, in fact, as Chairman and with the approval of the PCB’s Board of Governors, I authorized preparation of a case on the advice of PCB’s lawyers and a prominent QC in the UK who agreed that PCB had a strong case against India,” Shaharyar said.

The 83-year-old further reiterated that he had tried really hard to negotiate with the BCCI for resuming the bilateral cricket series during his tenure as PCB chairman.

“During my tenure as chairman PCB, I had tried several times to discuss and negotiate with the BCCI for resuming the bilateral cricket series between the two countries but those attempts remained unsuccessful. This then left PCB with no option but to refer this matter to the disputes committee of ICC,” he said.

Shaharyar also urged media to refrain from distorting his remarks and hurt the position of the PCB.

Though Shaharyar might be denying making such statements, the video footage of his interview to a private TV channel clearly shows him saying exactly what he said he didn’t.

“It is good that both the countries come on table talk and to increase individual relationships.When I was PCB chairman I enjoyed good relationships with Dalmiya and Shashank Manohar. Good relationships between the officials always play a positive role in bringing each other closer,” the Express Tribune quoted Shaharyar, as saying.

“Yes, for some aspects, the (PCB) case is weak. Because there is written (in the MoU) that the series will be held with the approval of both the governments (India and Pakistan), and they (BCCI) can cite that and say we can’t come as our government is not giving us the NoC,” he added while revealing how PCB’s case against BCCI was weak.

Pakistan was expected to generate bulk of revenue in these eight years from hosting India but since BCCI denied playing the series in wake of tensions between the two countries, the PCB is suffering huge financial losses due to it.

And now the PCB is mulling over to take legal action against its Indian counterpart.

The PCB will be making a demand of USD 70 million as compensation from the BCCI for not playing two “home” bilateral series.

Earlier this year, BCCI rejected the PCB’s demand for compensation for not honouring the MoU, saying that the MoU was not binding and also raised the issue of security problems in Pakistan.

In May, the PCB had sent a legal notice to its Indian counterpart for failing to honour the MoU.

Despite not playing a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the arch-rivals have played each other a number of times in the ICC events, with the most recent coming at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Although, Pakistan did tour India for a short series in December, 2012. (ANI)