BCCI seek damages from West Indies

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Published: Wednesday 5th November 2014 by The News Editor

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India will not back down in their high stakes stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket India said on Wednesday.

The BCCI have claimed damages totalling around £26.2million from their Caribbean counterparts following the abandonment of the West Indies’ recent tour with five matches unfulfilled.

The cash-strapped WICB do not have the funds to meet such a figure and face an uncertain future should they be found liable, but Sanjay Patel told Press Association Sport that represents the minimum amount BCCI will be seeking.

In a strongly worded exchange, Patel told PA Sport that the effect of the cancelled tour, during the commercially crucial Diwali festival, has been “direct, disastrous…irreparable” to Indian cricket and that the WICB is held “solely responsible for the entire episode”.

Patel says he personally travelled to Kochi ahead of the first ODI to warn the tourists of the dire consequences of cancellation and his current stance appears to leave little room for negotiation.

Those who remain optimistic about the islanders’ future as a viable international entity hope that either the International Cricket Council or India’s ‘big three’ executive partners, England and Australia, will be able to act as peacebrokers.

But recently revised rules of governance mean the ICC no longer have jurisdiction to intervene in matters arising from bilateral tours – a point emphasised by Patel, who also said the boards of England and Australia “recognise the need to resolve the situation to our satisfaction”.

Patel added that the England and Wales Cricket Board “spontaneously offered their support to us” when approached about playing in India in the Windies’ absence.

On the magnitude of the Indian damages claim, Patel told PA: “We have sent a demand letter to the WICB claiming damages to the tune of 258 crore (£26.2 million)…and we are in the process of ascertaining other damages incurred by our hosting centres, after which we will present a final claim amount.

“It is a matter of consideration for the WICB to decide as to how they will cover our damages.

“(Abandoning the tour) is a unilateral decision of the WICB and they are solely responsible for this entire episode.

“There has been a direct and disastrous impact (to India). Other than the financial losses, the collateral damage that has been caused to the BCCI and its stakeholders is irreparable.

“BCCI has always believed that all the fellow members of the cricketing fraternity are interdependent to grow this glorious game and West Indies in particular has been an integral part of our fabric.

“Having said that, we also have to look at the present situation and the losses that the BCCI and all our partners, especially our ardent fans, have had to suffer due to this abrupt disruption.”

Patel stressed the lengths that BCCI officials had taken to try to keep the West Indies in India despite the contract row that had driven a wedge between the players, their own association (WIPA) and the board.

“We tried our level best to survive the series and I had to personally dash to Kochi before the first ODI to intervene and ensure that the match took place,” Patel added.

“My colleagues joined me in these efforts at various junctures, including the last ODI in Dharamsala, and we repeatedly highlighted the potential damage due to this decision.

“Unfortunately, WICB chose to ignore the consequences at that stage and created an avoidable situation.”

Asked about the role the ICC, England and Australia could have to play in the dispute, Patel offered a modest account of their potential influence.

“This is a bilateral issue between the boards of BCCI and WICB…we will approach the ICC as and when the situation so demands,” he said.

“They (ECB chairman Giles Clarke and Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards) are well meaning colleagues of all the members and do recognise the circumstances that have led to this situation and the need to resolve the same to our satisfaction.”

Published: Wednesday 5th November 2014 by The News Editor

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