BCCI not holding us to ransom, says Shaharyar Khan

KOLKATA: Pakistani cricket administrators do not think they are being hustled by their financially stronger Indian counterparts over a series that guarantees them much-needed revenue.But at the same time, they feel that if push comes to shove, they reserve the right to reciprocate.

“I do not believe that BCCI is holding us to ransom,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan said, referring to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which has threatened to cancel a scheduled tour.

“[But] If the BCCI does not honour its signature on the MoU, we reserve the right to respond appropriately,” Khan said in an email interaction. He did not elaborate.

The two boards signed an eight-year deal last year to play six series over 2015-2023, the first of which PCB will host in the UAE this December.

Since then, a senior BCCI office-bearer has ruled out cricketing ties on the ground that Pakistan was sponsoring terror groups in India. The Indian government, too, has not cleared the first series.

In a related development, Khan has been quoted by Indian media as saying that the Pakistani board could seek compensation from the BCCI if it reneged on the MoU.

“We will suffer financial and other losses,” he said.

“The series is an agreement but if it does not happen, it’s a reasonable thing to demand compensation.”

Khan made the statement while on a daylong visit to Kolkata on Thursday to pay homage to the late BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.

At the same time, the PCB chairman said BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur had responded to his queries regarding the issue, and that they would flesh it out next week on the sidelines of an ICC conference in Dubai.

“The final decision of course lies with the government of India,” he said.

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