A top Indian board (BCCI) official today refuted allegations that the Asian bloc had entered into an understanding with the West Indies to bag the rights to host the 2011 World Cup at a recent ICC meeting.
The West Indies voted for India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but in return the BCCI agreed to play a triangular series at a neutral venue to help raise funds for the Caribbean islands in the lead up to the 2007 World Cup, media reports had said.
IS Bindra, a BCCI Marketing Committee member and a former president, rebutted the charges. "We playing the West Indies in North America or the Caribbean had nothing to do with the World Cup bid," Bindra said. "It was part of the ongoing scheme of playing 25 matches against top teams at neutral venues over a period of five years. Playing in North America would benefit the Caribbean because there is a considerable expatriate population there [North America].
"There was no quid pro quo for their support. They voted for us because they thought it was in the best interest of world cricket, and it was morally right, that the 2011 World Cup be held in the subcontinent. We had jointly fought in 1987 when we got the World Cup moved out of England."
Bindra also denied former ICC president Malcolm Gray's allegation that the subcontinent won the bid by flexing its money muscle. "It was they who had the veto, from 1909 when the ICC was formed to 1993," Bindra said. "We have always acted like equal partners."
Bindra said he was questioned by the ICC members at the executive board meeting in Dubai earlier this week "for half an hour" when he told them the 2011 World Cup, if held in the subcontinent, would generate USD 400 million more. "I told them that the ICC makes USD two million from a match day whereas we make USD 8.77 million, which is more than four times. The ICC sold the television rights [of 2003 WC] to India for USD 250 million and for seven-eight million USD to Australia."
Asia won the bid to host the 2011 World Cup overcoming a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand by ten votes to three.