2011 World Cup May 10, 2006

India and Pakistan to debate final location

The Gaddafi Stadium could host the 2011 World Cup final © Getty Images
A decision on the venues for the semi-finals and final of the 2011 World Cup - to be held jointly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - will be made over the next three to four months, the Pakistan Cricket Board said today.

Addressing reporters at the National Stadium, in Karachi, the chairman Shaharyar Khan denied that a decision had already been taken for Pakistan to host the final and for India to host the semi-finals. "During the next few months together we will decide where opening ceremonies, super eight venues, semis and the final will be held."

Reports had previously suggested Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium may play host to the final, as it had done in the 1996 World Cup but Shaharyar said that wasn't certain yet. In India meanwhile, it was reported that the BCCI were keen on hosting the final, given that Pakistan had held the last one. "I have said and will say again that it would be good to replicate the 1996 scenario but we are open to other suggestions. That is just my own feeling but it will be decided in the forthcoming months with the Indian board."

Shaharyar also lauded the efforts of the co-hosts in putting together a successful bid, claiming that the one-month grace period they received having failed to hand in the bid on time, helped them in the end. And he reconfirmed that had it not been for the board's reminder to their Indian counterparts about the compliance book - the final bid document - Asia may well have lost the bid. "Sharad Pawar sent us a letter thanking us for the timely reminder we gave them about the compliance bid, barring which we would not have won."

The PCB, as part of their preparations, are also planning on bringing the administration of stadiums in Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi - all venues for 2011 - under their control. Currently, the PCB are in charge of affairs at the Gaddafi and National Stadium in Lahore and Karachi respectively, as well as a host of others.

"Our preparations for the World Cup have to begin in earnest from now and one of the first things we must accomplish is gaining control of stadiums in Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi. We need to bring these stadiums up to international standards and at the moment they aren't. But I will impress upon the government that these stadiums need to be in our control for them to be upgraded to the requisite standard."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo