Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
Dave Cameron, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board, has told the BCCI that the WICB cannot be dragged into the Indian courts for damages related to West Indies' pullout from the India tour midway into the series in October last year. Cameron urged the BCCI to sort the issue through a bilateral discussion or a third-party mediation over the next two months. The WICB also said that it had sought the intervention of the ICC in the matter.
Cameron sent this proposal through an e-mail to BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel on Tuesday, the last day of the week-long deadline set by BCCI in its ultimatum to the WICB sent on January 20. In that letter, which was also addressed to inter-governmental community (CARICOM) secretary-general Irwin LaRocque, Patel had said the BCCI would press legal proceedings in the Indian courts if the WICB failed to propose how it would pay the $41.97 million claimed as damages.
"We reiterate our position that Indian courts lack jurisdiction in this matter given the parties' agreement to submit disputes of this nature to binding arbitration," Cameron told Patel in the e-mailed letter, a copy of which was made available to ESPNcricinfo.
Cameron also expressed surprise about Patel insisting, in his letter on January 20, that the BCCI had received no constructive response from the WICB. Patel had pointed out that the BCCI had been lenient and even allowed a 40-day grace period at the request of CARICOM, and stated that there had been no progress in finding a solution acceptable to the BCCI.
Cameron, however, did not agree and cited various "informal discussions" between the boards. "We are surprised that your letter makes no reference to our letter dated 7 November 2014 or the matters to which it refers, including our formal written proposal for progressing matters. Your letter also makes no reference to the numerous earnest but informal discussions, which have taken place between our respective Boards exploring possible solutions, including various 'cricketing solutions' that are practical and fair to the BCCI and all stakeholders," he said.
Outlining the proposal set in the November 7 letter once again, Cameron said the WICB was happy to sit with the BCCI to find an appropriate solution.
"Our position in law remains as set out in our letter dated 7 November 2014," Cameron said. "Without admitting any liability to the BCCI, we reiterate our willingness to participate in bi-lateral or multi-lateral discussions, or in mediation or such other suitable form of ADR as may be appropriate, as the alternatives would be of no benefit to either Board or the larger cricketing community.
"We would like to propose that we (WICB and BCCI) meet at the earliest available opportunity but in any event within the next 60 days, as we remain of the view that the issues between us may best be resolved through dialogue, facilitated or otherwise, with the aim of jointly coming up with appropriate 'cricketing solutions' that will meet the legitimate interests of all stakeholders including the BCCI."
Cameron's response to an annoyed and indignant BCCI could come as a surprise for many as India has cancelled all bilateral tours pending a resolution to the matter. Yet Cameron and WICB remain positive. In a separate media release, WICB said that Cameron had met "some of the directors of ICC" in Dubai this week and sought their intervention. The release also said the WICB was "hopeful of finding a workable solution and to this end will send a delegation to meet with the BCCI in the coming weeks."