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Najam Sethi : Pakistan won't take part in ICC leagues if India don't honour MoU

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SportsCafe Desk

10/17/2017

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi has asserted that Pakistan will sign up for the Test and ODI leagues only if India agrees to honour the 2014 MoU to play bilateral series with them. Sethi also said that the PCB would file an official complaint with the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee in the coming months.

In the recent ICC board meeting, the committee agreed to a nine-team Test Championship which would be played over a period of two years after the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup. Over the two years, all teams would play six series at home while playing the same number of away from home matches as well which would eventually culminate in a World Test League Championship final.

The ODI league would act as a qualifier for the ICC Cricket World Cup and all 12 full members would take part along with the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The first edition would see each side will play four home series and four away ones. After the first edition, all teams would play each other in the league.

The entire schedule of the league is expected to be drafted next month and should be ready to be presented for approval in January.

The biggest problem in the league is the political tensions between India and Pakistan, which has seen the two neighbours refraining from playing any international matches, barring ICC events. The last Test match between the two countries was played almost a decade ago.Then there is the case of the MoU signed between Pakistan and India in 2014 where the two rivals were scheduled to play 24 matches (six series) over a 10-year period. 

“Pakistan will sign provided 1) We get bilateral matches with India no less than those agreed in the MoU of 2014 and 2) Without prejudice to our legal position viz MoU in which 24 matches are listed in period until 2023,” Sethi told Wisden India.

The first series between the two countries was scheduled to be played in 2015 but because of the ongoing problems, the BCCI refused to play the matches, even on a neutral venue. Pakistan have threatened legal action against India for not honouring the MoU. After Dave Richardson said that the ICC could not get involved in the issue, PCB stated that they would approach the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee for a solution. 

“We expect to formally file before the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee within the next two or three months,” the PCB chairman revealed.

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