ICC, Pakistan resolve dispute over 2011 World Cup
DUBAI: The International Cricket Council said Thursday it and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have resolved their dispute relating to the staging of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
The breakthrough came at a meeting between ICC President David Morgan and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt at the ICC office in Dubai, the governing body revealed in a statement made available to media.
In an agreement with the ICC''s commercial arm, the PCB will retain its host fees and also receive an additional 10 million dollars as ''reasonable compensation'' for loss of hosting rights which it would have pocketed had it hosted the matches on Pakistani soil.
Earlier this month, a PCB official indicated Pakistan had decided to end its legal battle against cricket''s governing body over being stripped four months ago of its share of World Cup 2011 matches owing to security fears.
The ICC relocated Pakistan''s share of 14 matches because of security fears after attacks in its eastern city of Lahore on the Sri Lankan team on March 3.
The attacks injured seven players and their assistant coach and killed eight people.
The Central Organising Committee of the World Cup 2011 last month awarded eight of Pakistan''s matches to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh.
Besides World Cup matches, the Champions trophy 2008 was also moved out to South Africa after several teams refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.
On Thursday, it was further agreed the PCB would be free of its liabilities and obligations associated with hosting matches during the tournament, including the location of the tournament secretariat, which had originally been set for Lahore.
Butt indicated to media there was still a chance of some action coming to Pakistan.
"We have also demanded to include a clause in (Thursday''s) agreement that if the security situation improves in Pakistan, some of the World Cup matches be played in Pakistan subject to teams'' acceptance," Butt stated.
The ICC said it was expected the agreement would be signed later in the day and that the PCB had as a result agreed to withdraw legal proceedings against the body.
Morgan said, "This resolution is good for world cricket and provides an improved platform for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 as we now have a degree of certainty surrounding the event that was not there while the dispute was ongoing.
"I am glad we were able to come to an amicable agreement and I believe this is a fair resolution for the PCB and the ICC.
"When the position in Pakistan, from a safety and security point of view, becomes satisfactory to the ICC and its specialist security advisors as well as to visiting teams, then international cricket will return to Pakistan," added Mr Morgan.
Butt welcomed the breakthrough after months of uncertainty.
"The PCB is content with the settlement that has been reached. We are able to see this dispute from the other side. We realise also the logistical and administrative difficulties that would be associated with organising our matches in the other three co-host countries.
"Our number-one priority is that cricket in Pakistan must not be allowed to suffer unduly and I believe this agreement is the best possible outcome for the game.
"Besides the hosting fee of 10 million dollars we are going to get some compensation which we will not announce now as the World Cup is still two years away," he concluded.