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Butt calls for talks to solve World Cup dispute

Cricinfo staff

July 15, 2009

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Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, has denied boycotting Tuesday's meeting in Mumbai that confirmed that India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will host the 2011 World Cup matches that were originally allocated to Pakistan. He also called for further talks aimed at bringing back some of the World Cup games to Pakistan.

Pakistan had been invited to the meeting of the World Cup Central Organising Committee but the PCB skipped it, though it deputed Zakir Khan, its director (cricket operations), to attend the ICC event's logo launch ceremony.

"No, we did not boycott the meeting," Butt told AFP. "Since it is a legal matter we do not want to make comment on that, but I can tell you that we are still trying to solve the matter through talks."

Butt stressed that the PCB was still trying to resolve the issue without litigation, though the board had initiated legal proceedings after Pakistan had been stripped of the World Cup matches following the terrorist strike on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March. "We are definitely trying to solve the matter out of court and I am going to meet the ICC president soon," Butt said.

The ICC has maintained that Pakistan cannot host matches in the 2011 tournament because of security concerns but the PCB would be recognised as hosts and retain fees from its original allocation of 14 matches.

At the meeting on Tuesday, it was also reaffirmed that the World Cup secretariat would remain in Mumbai and not been shifted back to Lahore. A civil court in Lahore has given a stay order until July 30 against the relocation after the PCB issued a legal notice on the matter.

"I would not like to comment on the merit of the decisions made Tuesday because it's a legal matter," PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said, "but keeping the central office in Mumbai is tantamount to contempt of court and will be brought to the knowledge of the court."


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