2011 WC: Pakistan forsakes host status

Special Correspondent

Mumbai: Pakistan has forsaken the right to be a host nation of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2011.

At the meeting of the Central Organising Committee (COC) of the CWC here on July 14, Chairman Sharad Pawar had told the committee that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would continue to be the host and he would request the PCB to nominate three representatives to the COC.

The PCB had acceded to the request and nominated its Chairman Ijaz Butt, Wasim Bari, Director, Human Resources, PCB and Subhan Ahmad, Manager International, PCB to attend the COC meeting here on Wednesday.

However, the outcome of the meeting between David Morgan, President, ICC and Mr. Butt at Dubai last Thursday (August 27) has confirmed that only India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will remain the host for the quadrennial event.

“The ICC has bought the host rights from the PCB at the meeting in Dubai and Pakistan will not be a host nation. The PCB representatives will not be here for the meeting,” said a functionary of the COC-CWC 2011.

An official release from the ICC last week said: “The ICC and PCB have reached a settlement to the dispute relating to the staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

In an agreement with the commercial arm of the ICC, the PCB will retain its host fees and also receive an additional payment as reasonable compensation for the loss of hosting rights that it would have enjoyed had it hosted the matches on Pakistan soil.

“It was further agreed that the PCB would be free of its liabilities and obligations associated with hosting matches during the tournament, including the location of the tournament secretariat which had originally been set for Lahore.

It is anticipated that the settlement will be signed by both parties at which point the PCB has agreed to withdraw its legal proceedings against the ICC.”

After relocating 14 matches (that was allotted to Pakistan) to India (8), Sri Lanka (3) and Bangladesh (3), the ICC Executive Board maintained that the PCB would receive $ 750,000 per match, totalling $ 10.5 million.

Sizeable compensation

Mr. Butt made a public statement that the PCB (after the settlement with the ICC) may receive an additional sum of $1.5 million with a potential increase of another $6 million before the start of the event in 2011.

“At the moment the figure is around $12 million, but I hope it could go up to $ 18 million by the time World Cup begins in 2011,” Butt told reporters at Lahore. Last month Shashank Manohar, President, BCCI said that the three boards of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh agreed to host 14 extra matches together without extra compensation.

India will now stage 29 matches including a quarterfinal, semifinal and final, Sri Lanka 12 (including a quarterfinal and semifinal) and Bangladesh 8 (including the opening ceremony at Dhaka (likely to be on February 21) and two quarterfinals).

The nearly three-month long impasse has ended with the PCB extracting enough concessions from the ICC.

COC meeting

The COC members at the meeting here on Wednesday would be free to deliberate on the operational planning and logistics aspect, including inspection of venues, schedule, guarantees to be submitted by the three boards and the budgeted sum of $ 115 million.

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