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2011 World Cup

PCB denies claims of World Cup boycott

Cricinfo staff

July 18, 2009

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The PCB has denied claims of considering a boycott of the 2011 World Cup under instructions from its government. The Pakistan board had stayed away from a meeting of the World Cup organising committee on July 14 in Mumbai, where the possibility of holding Pakistan's matches at a neutral venue was ruled out and the decision to allocate the concerned games to the three other co-hosts, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, was reconfirmed.

"No such thing or option [of a possible boycott] has ever been discussed within the board or with the government," Saleem Altaf, the PCB's chief operating officer, was quoted as saying by PTI.

Pakistan was stripped of its rights to host the 2011 World Cup in the aftermath of the attacks on touring Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore in March. Following the decision, the World Cup secretariat was moved from Lahore to Mumbai. However, Altaf was hopeful of Pakistan's status as a co-host being reinstated, or the possibility of playing its games at a neutral venue still considered, as a consequence of negotiations with the ICC. "We are open to discussions and we want a solution to this issue because we feel moving the matches out of Pakistan was not justified at all," he said. "But no, we have not discussed any option about boycotting the tournament if we didn't get our share of matches back.

"We are trying to convince our partners in the World Cup and the ICC how important it is for Pakistan to host the World Cup matches and that process will continue," Altaf said. A commitment towards holding talks to reach their desired conclusion was also expressed by the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt on Wednesday.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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