KARACHI: Pakistan on Friday declared they would continue to fight for the restoration of their status as 2011 World Cup co-hosts even as the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled out the chances of the country hosting any games of the quadrennial spectacle because of security concerns.
Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, expressed his disappointment over the ICC announcement on Thursday that it will not allow Pakistan to host their share of the World Cup games on neutral venues but said he still remained hopeful that the issue will be resolved positively.
“It is obviously disappointing. I thought we had made significant progress till last week but no support from the Asian countries meant that Pakistan may not be able to physically host these games at venues of its choice,” he said.
“But all is not lost we are still optimistic and will continue to pursue this matter in the interest of PCB and Pakistan cricket.”
Butt said that through a legal notice against ICC decision to move World Cup games from Pakistan, the PCB managed to get favorable response on a number of points of concerns that it had raised with ICC. The game’s governing body has accepted that PCB will remain as a co-host of the World Cup and will retain the hosting fees for all of its 14 matches which amount to US$10.5 million. The Board will also remain as a member of the Central Organising Committee (COC) of the World Cup.
“There are two outstanding issues being the venues of 14 matches and the location of World Cup Secretariat. I still feel there is scope for PCB to work out a solution of these issues which is acceptable to everyone. We will continue to explore various options,” said Butt.
The PCB chief said that there are various options at PCB’s disposal ahead of a COC meeting which will decide how many of the World Cup matches are played in each host country.
Pakistan was stripped of its status as a World Cup 2011 venue after the March 3 terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore.