Terror in Pakistan March 4, 2009

Australia ready to host World Cup matches

Cricinfo staff

Australia are one of the standby hosts of the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images

Australia has offered to host 2011 World Cup matches if Pakistan loses its games due to security fears, James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, has said. However, Sutherland said he would prefer the tournament to be hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Australia and New Zealand are the stand-by hosts of the tournament. Tuesday's terror strikes in Lahore - which injured five Sri Lankan cricketers - reopened the issue of players being afraid to tour the subcontinent over security fears.

"Officially, we are the standby hosts for the 2011 World Cup," Sutherland told AAP. "Our strong preference is for the event to go ahead in Asia, hosted by the countries that the ICC sees fit.

"We're the hosts for 2015 (World Cup) and we're confident we can put on a fantastic event, but we want the appropriate lead time into that event because of all the planning considerations necessary for it."

The ICC however played down suggestions that the matches will be moved away from Pakistan. President David Morgan said the matter would not be discussed before the next ICC executive meeting in Abu Dhabi in April, but "teams should not be expected to go there in the immediate future".