Kotla pitch fiasco January 9, 2010

Kotla verdict could be next week - Sharad Pawar

Cricinfo staff

The ICC will possibly take a decision next week on whether to allow the Feroz Shah Kotla host World Cup matches in 2011, according to Sharad Pawar, the president-in-waiting, and former BCCI president. Two days ago David Morgan, the ICC president, said he was not in favour of a World Cup ban on the venue, which had been classified by the ICC match referee Alan Hurst as "unfit", the harshest possible assessment after the abandoned fixture between India and Sri Lanka last month.

"I am not going to give any opinion on this issue. The ICC is yet to finally take a decision and the process is on. The BCCI is expecting a response from the ICC probably next month or in two months," Pawar said after chairing the meeting of the World Cup organising committee in Dhaka. "It is the biggest cricketing event in the subcontinent and I am sure the way the preparations have been going on it will be a hugely successful event and security will be no issue. India and Sri Lanka have the prior experience of hosting the World Cup and it will be a great event."

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, said it would be premature to speculate on the matter given that a procedure had been set down to deliver a verdict on the Kotla's fate. "The BCCI has sent their response and the ICC is examining it. Now that will go to two people of [ICC chief referee] Ranjan Madugalle and [ICC cricket operations manager] Dave Richardson before a final decision is taken."

Lorgat, also in Dhaka for the World Cup meeting, said that the preparation for the global tournament were going along smoothly. "All the three countries [India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh] have been working as a team not as three different countries. Mr Pawar has met the Bangladesh Prime Minister [Shiekh Hasina] and she has assured that she will attend the inaugural ceremony [to be held in Dhaka on February 17 2011]. That shows the importance of the World Cup. I think Bangladesh has started to build up the fervour of the World Cup."