BCCI takes assistance of a UK law firm to draft notice for ICC

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BCCI takes assistance of a UK law firm to draft notice for ICC

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SportsCafe Desk

05/03/2017

The BCCI is all set to take on the International Cricket Council in court for a breach of the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) that was signed in 2014 and has sought the assistance of a UK law firm for the same. Earlier, India was outvoted in ICC's governance and revenue model last month.

The Indian board is clearly not sitting back after ICC disagreed to rollback the changes they made in the revenue and governance model. According to the new revenue model, the BCCI will only receive $293 million as opposed to the $571 million they received earlier. The BCCI has already rejected ICC's proposal for $100 million compensation for the reduction in funds and is now ready to take the matter to the court.

On Tuesday, BCCI held two conference calls, one with the state boards and the other with a UK law firm to seek their legal advice on the matter. After these calls, the BCCI has drafted a notice that cites the violation of the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and is ready to face the consequences which include India's non-participation in the ICC Champions Trophy.

The BCCI justified their actions by citing that the ICC took the decision regarding changes in revenue and governance model without the consent of the Indian cricket board which dishonours the MPA.

The BCCI wanted to be sure regarding their firm decision and so held conference calls with 13 state boards to count the number of votes which were in favour of an eventual pullout. Acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary supervised the calls. N Srinivasan who was BCCI's chairman when the MPA was signed in 2014 was called to extract valuable advice on the matter but the BCCI made it clear that Srinivasan won't get a vote in the council's final call.

"The question here is not about whether BCCI should be sending the notice or not. A notice will be sent as per the legal norms, because it is certainly a violation of an existing contract. The question is, are we prepared for the repercussions post sending the notice," a senior cricket administrator told TOI.

The MPA is registered under the legal norms of UK courts of law and would, therefore, have to be disputed unto resolution in that country. The legal procedure that is to be followed is that the BCCI needs to send a notice to the ICC and then the Council has a time frame of 30 days to reply but that could cost India the Champions Trophy berth. 

A legal expert who has been involved with cricket affairs for years, stated,"the time frame can be a shorter one in cases like this one" where the tournament is starting before the deadline and therefore a shorter window can be sought for a reply."

The BCCI is also waiting for the central government to clear its stand on the dispute which would influence three precious BCCI votes.

Sources stated,"This issue is now serious because it's not just a question of money. It's now a question of whether India can stand up for what is its right or let it be given away and lose its authority and respect."

The board has already given the national selection committee a green signal on the selection of the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy Tournament but with a standing prerequisite that the team's inclusion in the tournament would be subject to ICC's reply to BCCI's notice. 

The BCCI is not just upset over the revenue model but also over the global body's high-handedness in pushing for changes in the governance policies.

"The notice has been prepared on these lines. It's not a confrontational one... by way of being a global superpower in the game, India needs to have a say," say the functionaries.

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