Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the “uncertain security situation” in the country, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Friday.
“It is a regrettable decision, [but] our No. 1 priority is to create certainty and ... deliver a safe, secure and successful event,” ICC president David Morgan told reporters after a meeting of the executive board in Dubai. “The uncertainty created by events in Pakistan created a huge question mark over our ability to do just that.”
Seven Pakistanis were killed and six Sri Lanka players were injured during an armed attack on their team bus as they traveled to a Test match in Lahore last month.
“It is extremely regrettable that the board has had to take this decision given the passion the people of Pakistan have for the game of cricket and for the ICC Cricket World Cup,” Morgan said.
Asked if Pakistan would host international tournaments in the near future, Morgan said: “It is highly unlikely that we will have the security clearance between now and the start date in 2011.”
Pakistan were due to co-host the event with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the ICC said they would press ahead with the matches in the three remaining countries.
Pakistan cricket officials and former captains expressed shock and criticized the ICC for acting in haste.
“It is really shocking because the World Cup is still some time away. I guess a little patience should have been shown by the ICC members,” said former Test captain Javed Miandad, who is now director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“This decision is not going to go down well with the Pakistani people since the World Cup is a global event and this decision is a big setback for our cricket,” former Test captain Rameez Raja said.
• La New Bears 10,
Uni-President Lions 3
• Sinon Bulls 6,
Brother Elephants 2
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• Brother Elephants v
(Chengching Lake, 2pm)
Former skipper Inzamam-ul Haq said the PCB was partly to blame for the country being frozen out by world cricket.
“Myself and other former players had offered to the board to arrange for a World XI to tour Pakistan so that we could show the world that international cricket could be played in Pakistan,” he said. “But no one from the board acted on this suggestion. [If] you don’t have international cricket in Pakistan, how can you convince anyone it is safe in our country?”
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