…demands US$42 million settlement
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) will have to cough up nearly US$42 million in order to stave off a lawsuit from the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI), stemming from the abandoned tour of India earlier this month.Yesterday, Indian authorities told the WICB that its losses as a result of the abandoned one-day and Test tour had been estimated at US$41.97 million, and gave the regional Board 15 days in which to come up with a plan of compensation.
The BCCI had announced two weeks ago it would seek compensation from the WICB for losses sustained as a result of the cancelled tour, and followed through with formal correspondence to the Antigua-based organisation on Friday.
Media rights make up the bulk of the losses with the BCCI estimating them at just over US$35 million, while ticket sales account for around $2 million and the title sponsorship from Micromax estimated at $1.6 million.
The BCCI has also factored in losses in kit sponsorship from Nike, team sponsorship, in-stadia sponsorship and stadium concessionaires, in the compensation package.
“The BCCI calls upon the WICB to formally inform the BCCI, in writing, of the steps it intends to take to compensate the BCCI towards the losses quantified above as well as those losses yet to be quantified by the BCCI in relation to the cancelled WICB Tour,” said the letter, signed by BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel.
“In the event the BCCI does not receive such a proposal in acceptable terms, within a period of 15 days from receipt of this letter, please note that the BCCI has peremptorily instructed its attorneys to initiate steps for recovery of the losses by filing appropriate legal proceedings against the WICB in the appropriate Indian Court and you may treat this notice as a formal demand in that regard.”
Imran Khan, the WICB’s corporate communications manager, confirmed the Board had received the BCCI letter but opted not to comment further.
In detailing its losses, the BCCI said the cancelled tour had resulted in “adverse financial ramifications” and accused the WICB of having “complete disregard” for legal commitments.
“The consequences on the BCCI of not delivering a scheduled home tour to its members, sponsors, broadcasters and the fans are multi-fold and crippling,” the BCCI letter said.
“The BCCI is faced with huge revenue losses, a loss of reputation and is at risk of losing valuable commercial partners. The consequences of cancellation of a committed home Tour during the biggest festival season.
“Diwali in India is a monumental disaster for the BCCI. It is during this season that our partners derive the most value from their rights. Our broadcaster had committed to its advertisers during this season and on account of your actions, is facing a severe crisis the effects of which are felt by the BCCI.
“The BCCI holds the WICB responsible and liable for all such consequences and intends to enforce its rights to seek compensation from the WICB to the fullest extent permissible in law.”
Though Sri Lanka has agreed to a hastily arranged five-match series to replace the Windies tour, the BCCI said this had done nothing to limit the financial damage as the Sri Lanka Cricket Board had only moved up a series already scheduled for next year.
In return, India have agreed to tour Sri Lanka next year, and the BCCI said this would cause it to miss out on a lucrative home tour.
Noting the figures outlined were “tentative and constitutes an approximation of the losses that BCCI is able to quantify at this time”, the Indian Board said any other losses would be communicated to the WICB at a later date.
“The BCCI is in the process of assessing its other heads of losses including without limitation towards expenses incurred against organization of the remaining [five] matches of the WICB Tour. Once quantified, the same will be intimated to the WICB.”
The BCCI also informed the WICB it was formally suspending all bilateral relations until the legal issues were resolved.
Indian authorities were furious after West Indies players quit the tour following the fourth ODI in Dharamsala, with an ODI in Kolkata and Twenty20 in Cuttack remaining. The three-Test tour, scheduled to bowl off October 30, was also scuppered.
The Windies players were protesting new playing contracts which they argued would have resulted in up to a 75 per cent reduction in their earnings.