Pakistan cricket May 9, 2009

Full statement of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt


1. On 17 April 2009, a meeting of ICC Executive Board was convened at Dubai wherein being a Full Member, PCB was also invited. The Agenda of the meeting consisted inter alia Management Reports/Items including Lahore Incident, Incident Report, Security Issues for International Cricket and other Issues arising from the Lahore Incident. Along with some other points, the agenda of this meeting consisted "Safety and Security - Post Lahore Incident i.e. Liberty Chowk attack on Sri Lanka team", Issues (other than security) arising from Lahore Incident.

2. Foreseeing that the Executive Board Meeting was being convened after the unfortunate and tragic incident of Liberty Chowk, PCB sent a working paper to be placed before the Meeting.

3. During the meeting, when security and safety issues regarding CWC 2011 was being discussed in the light of Lahore incident, views of Captain of Sri Lanka Team Mahela Jayawerdene and ICC official Chris Broad were presented; both of them were part of the team and officials who were attacked in Lahore. Unfortunately, the interview CD of the bus driver of Sri Lanka team that PCB had sent to ICC was never presented at the meeting. Rather, its transcript was circulated by e-mail to members after the meeting.

4. PCB did not get an opportunity to explain its position and in a slip shod manner, a decision was passed by at the Executive Board meeting whereby PCB was stripped off its right to Co-host CWC 2011. As claimed the basis of this decision were the safety and security concerns.

5. It is very surprising that this decision was passed in a meeting which was not even authorised to do so. As per procedure, it is the IDI Board and not the Executive Board that is only authorized to make recommendation to the Meeting of Members of ICC which is the Annual Conference and which is alone authorized to take decision on it. The ICC Executive Board in which this decision was made on 17th April, has purposed to exercise a power which vests only in IDI.

6. PCB has not yet received the minutes of the said meeting of Executive Board, therefore the exact tenure of the decision is not known. But in reality, the decision of ICC is actually being acted upon. We can see that the Central Organizing Committee (which originally comprised of representatives of all 4 Co-hosts) convened its meeting in Mumbai wherein PCB was not invited.

7. The Executive Board, while taking this decision, completely failed to take into account that the law and order situation in the entire sub-continent is not exemplary;

a. Bangladesh recently faced mutiny by its armed forces and refused to host Pakistan on accounts of security concerns which resulted in cancellation of Pakistan Series in Bangladesh in March 2009.

b. Sri Lanka is embroiled in a long standing civil war

c. India due to law and order situation had to relocate IPL Series to South Africa although the official reason given is IPL schedule clash with the national elections. Recently Australia refused to send its Tennis Team to India for Davis Cup which was due to be held in Chennai, India.

If security and safety was the only reason, no security assessment of the other three co-hosts has been done.

8. Under the Host Agreement, prior to taking any decision on relocation of matches, PCB should first have been given an option to remedy the situation. This was never done.

Pakistan Cricket Board has yesterday 08 May 2009 issued a Legal Notice to President ICC through Mr. Mark Gay of DLA Piper, London who is well known in the field of sports legal issues and has also previously represented PCB. He is being assisted by PCB's Legal Advisor Mr. Taffazul Rizvi. In the Legal Notice ICC has been asked to rescind the decision of the Executive Board being ultra vires and void. We have also informed ICC that we will be shortly referring the matter for determination by an arbitral tribunal appointed in accordance with the Rules of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland under the ICC Dispute Resolution Committee.