Pakistan’s latest regime change threatens to undermine settlement of the compensation claim by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for losses sustained by Pakistan’s forfeiture of the Oval Test in August.
The ECB had hoped for a quiet and amicable settlement by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of their claim for £800,000, the loss incurred when part of the fourth day and the whole of the fifth day were cancelled after Darrell Hair had imposed a five-run penalty for ball tampering, and Pakistan then refused to take the field.
Relations between the England and Pakistan boards had been friendlier than at any previous time in the often troubled relationship between the two countries — until Shahrayar Khan, the skilled former diplomat, resigned suddenly as PCB chairman on Friday in the same turmoil that saw Younis Khan resign as Pakistan’s captain, to be replaced and then reinstated within 48 hours.
A satisfactory settlement of their claim had been confidently expected by the ECB. Contrary to a report last week, they have received no notification of any rejection of their claim by the Pakistan board.
David Morgan, the ECB chairman, told ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ yesterday: “I’m sorry to hear of Shaharyar Khan’s resignation. It has been good to work with him, and the ECB’s relationship with the PCB has improved significantly during his term of office, as has the performance of the Pakistan team.
“As for our claim to compensation for losses incurred due to the early finish of the fourth Test at the Brit Oval, while I regret not being able to finalise the settlement with Shaharyar, I have no doubt that a satisfactory settlement can be achieved,” Morgan added.
However, the new chairman of the Pakistan Board, Dr Nasim Ashraf, is an unknown quantity as far as the ECB are concerned, and it will inevitably take time to build the same trusting relationship that the two boards enjoyed before Friday.
It is understood that there is still a determination to resolve the issue amicably without recourse to lawyers, but ultimately the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s disputes resolution process may have to be involved.
In any event, the ECB cannot readily sustain a loss of the best part of £1 million, even though they have recently established a reserve fund to call on in the event of emergencies. —Scyld Berry in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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