Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) won’t respond “in haste,” as a well-placed source put it, to a suggestion from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that mediation be bypassed, on the contentious Player Terms, paving the way for arbitration.
“Our understanding is that arbitration comes into the picture once the dispute is legalised. Moreover, as compensation (to the World Cup’s sponsors) will be linked to arbitration, that should only be an issue after January 14, the last date for the players to sign the Terms,” the source told The Telegraph Tuesday.
Perhaps, the BCCI’s silence can also be attributed to the arbitration proposal having been conveyed by the ICC’s solicitors (Simmons and Simmons) to its counsel Usha Nath Banerjee. Apparently, a comment will be made once the lawyers have completed their “interaction.”
However, according to another source, the BCCI has begun its “homework” on the arbitration front. Specifically, it has set about procuring the list of around 150 arbiters empanelled by the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne.
If the Terms controversy does head there, the arbiter(s) will either be appointed with the consent of both the BCCI and the ICC’s business arm (IDI Ltd) or, if there’s a disagreement, by the Court’s president (H.E. Judge Keba Mbaye).
Meanwhile, efforts are continuing to “persuade” the three key World Cup sponsors — Pepsi, LG and Hero Honda — who have a huge stake in India, to relent on the Terms and give an undertaking that no compensation will be sought (from the IDI Ltd) for further concessions.
The ICC, after all, is clear: Any demand for compensation will be passed on to the BCCI. Incidentally, the BCCI’s working committee will have a two-day meeting in the capital, beginning January 21. If the dispute isn’t settled by then, the Terms alone will dominate.