2011 World Cup April 17, 2009

World Cup matches moved out of Pakistan

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the "uncertain security situation" in the country, the ICC said.

"It is a regrettable decision (but) our number one priority is to create certainty and...deliver a safe, secure and successful event," ICC president David Morgan said in a statement.

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  • Zaheer Abbas: "It's time that Pakistan cricket breaks its silence over what's been happening against it in recent times. The ICC took away the Champions Trophy and now it has deprived us of the World Cup. What else should happen before we break our silence? I would ask the PCB to make it clear to the ICC that we will boycott the World Cup if it is held in Asia. If Pakistan is unsafe for the event then there is no justification to have the World Cup in other parts of the subcontinent which are also within the range of terrorists. It's a great loss for Pakistan cricket and for that I would blame the ICC and India which has pulled out its support when we needed it the most."
  • Saleem Altaf: "I don't know what has transpired at the ICC meeting in Dubai for this decision to be taken. But it is disappointing as we were keen to host the World Cup matches and were working hard on a security plan to convince the ICC and other countries."
  • Javed Miandad: "Pakistan cricket is going through bad times and unfortunately the support and understanding we expect from the ICC and other countries is not forthcoming. There was still time left for the tournament and the board was willing to do everything to keep the World Cup matches and host them safely."
  • Ramiz Raja: "The World Cup is a global event and I don't think the Pakistani people will like this ICC decision. How do you expect the sport to survive in Pakistan when the ICC is isolating Pakistan as a cricketing nation. This decision will hurt Pakistan cricket no doubt about that. It is a big setback for us."
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"However, our number one priority was and is to deliver a safe, secure and successful event and the uncertainty created by events within Pakistan created a huge question mark over our ability to do just that."

The ICC added that Pakistan was unlikely to resume hosting any cricket at all until 2011. It also said the World Cup secretariat would be moved out of Pakistan to a location to be decided by the organising committee. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the other co-hosts, will now share the 16 matches that were to be held in Pakistan.

Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, expressed regret. "It's a disappointing decision but it can't be helped. Nobody wants to play in Pakistan following the attacks in Lahore," Butt said. He was referring to the attack on Sri Lanka's touring cricketers in Lahore on March 3, in which eight Pakistanis were killed and seven Sri Lankan players injured.

Pakistan were due to co-host the event with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but the deteriorating security situation has posed a serious problem for the PCB. The news came during the first day of the ICC board meeting in Dubai.

Pakistan's status as a host of international matches has been uncertain for some time - the Champions Trophy was shifted out last year and, in January, India became the latest country to cancel a tour when they pulled out of a bilateral series. However, the Lahore attack seemed to have sealed their fate on hosting the World Cup.

The attack itself also came up for discussion at the meeting, with match referee Chris Broad, who was on duty for the Test, and Sri Lanka's Mahela Jaywardane (via telephone) giving their version of what happened.

It was decided that Lord Condon, chairman of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, would lead a task team - including ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and directors Jack Clarke and Shashank Manohar - would conduct a review of security arrangements for all international cricket.

The review, Lorgat said, would include an assessment of whether current security protocols employed by ICC Members were adequate and, if not, how they could be improved. It would also, if necessary, approach other sports to see if there was scope for information-sharing in the way security is conducted across major events around the world.

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