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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hafiz on April 19, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, I think the world cup should not held in Pakistan because of deteorating security situation. I don't wanna see another liberty attack. I think world cup should not held in subcontinet at all.Possible in future but at least not now.

  • Atif on April 18, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    As a Pakistani living in the US and a cricket fan, I am in a state of total shock and disbelief--not at the decision made by the ICC, but at the reactions of former Pakistani cricketers and the PCB. Exactly what kind of massacre needs to occur before they realize that Pakistan is just not a safe place to host events at this point in time. If the PCB cannot provide competent security to one visiting team, they certainly will not be able to successfully negotiate the security of a dozen teams. And lets not forget about the hundreds of thousands of cricket fans as well. Pakistan could have cleared all these fears and doubts with the recent tour of Sri Lanka. They failed. I understand that no country is 100% safe, but any country where a dozen terrorists sporting machine guns and rocket launchers can breach through "President Style Security", manage to kill innocent civilians, injure foreign sportmen, and to make matters worse, successfully escape without even a scar, is Just. Not. Safe.

  • hussham on April 18, 2009, 18:51 GMT

    Its hard to believe this coming from the ICC....i strongly believe that this is the time when cricket could have played a bigger part than a fun-for-sake game!! Eight dead against seven injured in Lahore attacks is no less than a sufficient indication that Pakistan is a peace loving nation and is willing to sacrifice the most to achieve their objective....I appeal to cricket fans around the globe to transform this game into a sporting event in history....we hav cited this before that ppl hav achieved a lot more than fun from many sports around the globe! Can cricket be one out of those sports??

  • Sajid on April 18, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    Being a Pakistani, living in the States and keeping current with the events in Pakistan, I can understand ICC's decision. The law and order/security situation in Pakistan is unfortunate and its good and law abiding citizens are left to face the consequences. We need to get our house in order first and stand up against the terrorists and the extremists before pointing fingers at others. Having said that, the "high and mighty" and "I told you so" attitude expressed by my Indian friends is getting a bit annoying. To those offering supportive comments and keeping it "real"; Thank You!

  • zain-ul- on April 18, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    Harsh decision. In my opinion, if Pakistan can't host the world cup so the rest of sub-continent also can't. Fact of the matter is the BCCI is controlling ICC and BCCI has NEVER supported PCB when it needed the most like now....it also means no international cricket in Pakistan till atleast the world cup....very sad day for Pakistan cricket

  • Rix on April 18, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    I strongly condemned the ICC decision of eliminating the Pakistan from hosting the World Cup festival. Don't they guys remember what England had faced in India and they took step and comes back to INDIA (may be that's the reason in auction there two players were awarded with such a high contracts other wise we have far more better players then them) They have to took a simple decision by transferring the World Cup from Asia to some where else and organize the 2015 World Cup in Asia. World Cup in India will really spoil the things for Pakistan's Nation

  • Swami on April 18, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    For the past year or so, its been a blame it on India season in full swing. Websites, newspapers, writers have imagined all sorts of conspiracies devised by BCCI and India driven by ignorance. And the reactions of some of the retired Pakistani players are ludicrous. I would imagine that someone like Zaheer Abbas, who has played cricket around the world and visited India a few times, would have been cured of the India fixation of the average Pakistani that one sees from time to time. Does he seriously expect BCCI to take responsibility for persuading England, Australia, S.Africa and others to visit Pakistan ? Or is he suggesting that they were willing to play in Pakistan but BCCI scuppered it ? C'mon, grow up, guys !

  • Asif on April 18, 2009, 9:08 GMT

    Wrong decision because security situation is the same in all four countries excluding only Pakistan is not Wright I think the whole tournament should be sift to Aus & NZL.

  • nishad on April 18, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    it is very sad to see terrorists attack cricketers....politics should be different from sports.

  • Sathish on April 18, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    Its the perfect decision in my opinion. Now playing cricket is not important. Playing safe is important and the world cup should go on. And I dont understand why people like Zaheer Abbas blame INDIA for the cause. INDIA cancelled the trip for players safety/security and not for any other personal/political reasons. But Sri Lanka went to play there and paid for it. Luckily no fatal incident for the players. Such an incident has not happened ever in Cricket history. Is that not a reason enough to cancel the tournemant in Pakistan? I would request respectable person/cricketer like Zaheer Abbas not to add fuel to the flame and cause a new set of problems to the existing political tensions.

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