2011 World Cup April 18, 2009

ICC decision unjust - Intikhab Alam

Cricinfo staff

Intikhab Alam, the Pakistan coach, has said that the move to strip Pakistan of the rights to host the 2011 World Cup is "unjust" and a blow that, he said, would be hard to overcome.

"I am hugely disappointed," Alam said in Dubai. "Pakistan has been singled out for security, which is unjust and has hit our cricket with a big, big blow that will be hard to overcome for years."

The ICC executive board made its decision following a meeting on Friday, citing the "uncertain security situation" in Pakistan in the aftermath of the Lahore attack on March 3, when six policemen and two civilians were killed as gunmen fired at the Sri Lankan team bus. The ICC had also added that Pakistan was unlikely to resume hosting any tournament at all until 2011. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who are the other co-hosts for the World Cup, will now stage all the matches.

Alam, however, said this was unfair as he felt the security situation in the three other countries hosting the competition was also "not good", and that the scenario in Pakistan could improve with two years still to go.

"India had to move their high-profile league because of security fears," he said, referring to the IPL, which was moved to South Africa as the competition clashed with India's parliamentary elections. "We couldn't tour Bangladesh as there were security fears in the wake of military mutiny. The situation in Sri Lanka is not good, either, with Tamil (rebels) fighting a war against the Sri Lankan army. So why does only Pakistan suffer?

"[The ICC made] a hasty decision because the World Cup is still two years away and things are getting better in Pakistan... They should have waited for a few months."

Alam, who is currently in the UAE for Pakistan's ODI and Twenty20 series against Australia, said his players were shocked at the ICC's decision. "When the players got to know about it, they were shocked. They are sad to play their cricket away from their home, away from their fans and now they will have to play their World Cup matches elsewhere."