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PCB to seek ICC help to resolve bilateral-tours standoff

LAHORE: The PCB is set to take the BCCI to the ICC’s dispute resolution panel, with the two boards having failed to resolve their long-standing issue of not fulfilling a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral tours. The matter was initially meant to be resolved through a “good faith negotiation”, but has dragged on with the boards not finding common ground. The PCB has also weighed up all legal options by hiring a UK-based law firm to take the matter to court if it cannot be settled in the corridors of the ICC. “This process which is under the aegis of the ICC has now reached its final point,” the PCB chairman Najam Sethi said, sitting beside the ICC CEO David Richardson on the sidelines of the second T20I between Pakistan and the World XI. “We’ve had our last meetings with India and the last one was under the chairmanship of [former BCCI president and current ICC chairman Shashank] Manohar. That process is over and the next stage will begin. We are in active consultation with our lawyers and I and others are recording our statements with our lawyers. “Within a month or two months at most, we will go back to the ICC – we have in fact written a letter already asking for the nomination of a three-member board that will look at all these issues. We have nominated one member already. This process is active and we intend to pursue it to its logical outcome.” According to the ICC’s terms of reference, both boards have to get into discussions to resolve a dispute amicably. A failure to find a solution within two months, however, would result in the matter being referred to the ICC dispute resolution panel, which will form a three-member board to hear the case. The decision of will be binding on all parties and cannot be appealed. The PCB and BCCI had signed an MoU in 2014 to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Four of those series were to be hosted by Pakistan and the six series contained up to 14 Tests, 30 ODIs and 12 T20Is. The cycle was scheduled to start with Pakistan hosting two Tests and five ODIs at a mutually acceptable venue. But the MoU included the understanding that all series are subject to government approval and India’s, reportedly, is not keen to give the BCCI a go-ahead amid strained relations between the two countries. Agencies

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