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India must play Pakistan if PCB wins case: Sethi

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi on Sunday said the PCB is ready to accept any ruling of the International Cricket Council (ICC) disputes resolution committee but wants Indo-Pak bilateral series be added to the Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-2023 if it wins the case.
Sethi, who returned home after attending several meetings of the ICC Executive Board and other committees in Kolkata, told the media that Pakistan had signed the FTP documents conditionally.
“We have made it clear that if the ICC’s disputes resolution committee rules in our favour in October, then India must play against us in the new FTP programme,” the PCB chairman stressed.
Sethi said he had signed the documents on the condition that if the ICC committee ruled in PCB’s favour, matches against India would be added to the FTP.
“Even if the result is otherwise we still have got confirmed around 123 matches in the new FTP so we have done well,” he added.
The ICC gave final shape to the FTP at the meeting in Kolkata but the current schedule does not include any Pakistan-India bilateral matches.
The PCB has also filed a compensation case with the ICC, saying that the BCCI has not honoured an MoU signed in 2014.
The ICC has said its disputes resolution committee will arrive at a verdict on the compensation claim of around $70 million by Pakistan after a four-day meet in Dubai in October.
Sethi has exuded confidence that Pakistan can win the compensation case as its legal team has prepared a strong case against the BCCI.
“Our stance remains that the MoU signed between the two Boards in 2014 during the ICC meetings confirmed that both boards would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023,” the PCB chairman said.
The BCCI has said the MoU is not a legally binding document and was conditional to Pakistan supporting the ‘big three’ governance system which has been dissolved now and that they had said they needed government clearance to play against Pakistan.
Sethi made it clear that Pakistan had no objections to playing against India but first the ICC will have to decide the case.
Meanwhile, Sethi urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cricket authorities to not host any matches from October 2018 to March 2019 due to Pakistan’s commitments.
Sethi said the PCB has warned the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to not hold matches between October-March since Pakistan is scheduled to play international and domestic series in the region during the timeframe.
He added that the Emirati authorities have approved the demands verbally, but if in case the demands are not fulfilled, Pakistan will shift the Pakistan Super League (PSL) to Malaysia.
“The Asia Cup is going to be held in September. Then, we have a series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, while after that, the PSL season begins, so the schedule is stacked. In such circumstances, we cannot afford that the UAE holds cricket matches of its own or the other leagues,” Sethi added.
Sethi further highlighted that the ICC is also wary of the increase in the number of T20 leagues and is already working to devise a plan to regulate the calendar.