Pakistan will approve next FTP after ICC resolves dispute with India: Sethi

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan will approve any Future Tours Programme (FTP) of the ICC only after the dispute between Pakistan and India on the resumption of their bilateral series or any compensation for not resuming it is resolved by the world governing body, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has said.

“We informed the ICC in the last [chief executives’] meetings [held earlier this month]that the PCB will only agree to the next FTP [only] once the ICC resolves Pakistan’s dispute with India which did not honor the MoU [signed between the two countries] in 2014 for resuming their bilateral series,” Sethi told said in an exclusive interview.

“I think it will take eight to nine months for the ICC Dispute Resolution Comm­ittee to solve the dispute. And as the FTP will be implemented from 2019, the game’s governing body will have enough time to finalise the FTP after resolving our [Pakistan-India] case,” the PCB chairman stated.

The ICC had not yet decided if it would include one representative each from India and Pakistan in its dispute resolution panel or the chairman of this committee, Michael Beloff, would hear the case alone, Sethi underlined.

“Under the prevailing circumstances, PCB’s position is that if the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee decides the dispute in PCB’s favour then any FTP will need to be adjusted to reflect the decision. Any agreement by the PCB to any new FTP structure will therefore be without prejudice to its existing claims against the BCCI, and will be subject to the outcome of the ICC dispute resolution process,” the PCB chief elaborated.

Sethi was optimistic about success in this case, despite the fact that the two countries have signed merely an MoU, and not any full-fledged agreement.

It is pertinent to mention here that while India hugely benefited after getting PCB’s vote in favour of ‘Big Three’ formula in world cricket back in 2014, after the MoU signed between Pakistan and India for six bilateral series between 2015-2023, the former earned nothing.

The revenue share of the members of ‘Big Three’ — India, England and Australia — from the ICC income increased tremendously under the ‘Big Three’ formula, which ended earlier this year.

The PCB was expecting to earn huge profits after hosting India in 2014 and 2015 under the said MoU. However, since then the Indian government has not allowed its team to play a bilateral series against Pakistan amid political strains between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours.

Subsequently, the PCB, which has filed a case against India at the ICC, wants to get a fair decision — either resumption of the bilateral series or compensation from India amounting to $70 million.

Meanwhile, Sethi also gave his word on the objections raised by some PSL franchises over PCB’s decision of cooperating with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for launching the T10 League starting in the UAE from Dec 14 to 17.

When asked to comment on the reports indicating some PSL franchises have expressed their reservations against the T10 League, the PCB chairman said all the disagreements with the franchises over the T10 League had been amicably settled during the last meeting held with them.

“The PCB has cooperated with the organisers of T10 League after ensuring all its interests are safe,” Sethi insisted. “Two [PSL] franchises had some complaints but their reservations have now been removed.”

According to Sethi, the PCB would earn $400,000 from the T10 League organisers for allowing Pakistani cricketers to compete in that four-day event.

“As the Pakistan players are not busy in any national assignment during the T10 League, under no rule the PCB could stop them, especially when the ICC has not raised any objection over the commencement of the league,” Sethi said.

Furthermore, he said, cricket authorities in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were also cooperating with the ECB.

The PCB chairman rejected the impression that the T10 League would clash with the PSL, starting in the UAE from Feb 22.

“There is a significant gap between the commencements of the two events. So, the PSL is quite safe. However, some franchises feel their sponsors may leave them to sponsor the T10 League.

“Look neither the PCB can stop its cricketers from earning money nor you can guide any sponsor not to back any other event,” he clarified.

“Some PSL franchises bought the teams in the South African league to which the PCB did not raise any objection as everyone is free to safeguard their interests.”

Sethi said the PCB had also succeeded in getting the rent of the Dubai and Sharjah venues reduced for hosting the 2018 PSL matches starting on Feb 22.

“We will save approximately $250,000 under the new arrangement. And overall the PCB will earn $650,000 after receiving $400,000 from the ECB and due to reduced rates of the stadiums.”

To a question, he claimed that the PCB did not violate any of its rules in cooperating with the organisers of the T10 League.

“We succeeded in changing the dates of the T10 League, bringing it back from February to December because our own PSL is going to be held in February-March. And as the ICC did not raise any objection against the T10 League and we also earned $400,000, so the PCB is not going to lose anything,” emphasised Sethi.