Sub-continent should stay united on World Cup: Zaheer Abbas

March 5th, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, March 5 (IANS) Former Pakistan cricket captain Zaheer Abbas believes that any decision to take 2011 World Cup matches away from Pakistan will have serious repercussions on the chances of the quadrennial spectacle taking place in the rest of the sub-continent.

Abbas told IANS that Pakistan is not the only South Asian country hit by terrorism as the menace has also dogged other neighbouring countries like India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“I believe that the only way we the South Asians can ensure that the World Cup stays here is by staying united,” said Abbas, also known as the Asian Bradman for his prolific batting in the seventies.

Pakistan’s status as a World Cup co-host is in serious danger following an ambush on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore Tuesday that left several of the players injured. Eight people, mostly policemen, were killed in the attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, Zaheer said that the South Asian cricket boards should stay united. “If the game’s bosses will be allowed to strip Pakistan of the right to be co-host of the World Cup then I believe that slowly the other co-hosts will also lose ground and there will be a big possibility that the World Cup would be relocated from South Asia.”

He said that Australia and New Zealand are already vying for the World Cup, adding that he believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) might seriously start considering the idea of shifting the World Cup Down Under.

Cricket Australia officials have already said that they would be ready to host matches in the 2011 World Cup following the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan.

The ICC has already raised a question mark on Pakistan’s chances of hosting World Cup matches, by stating on Tuesday that the Lahore attacks had changed the global landscape of the game.

The ICC’s board will discuss the fallout from the Lahore ambush and the consequences for the World Cup at a meeting in Dubai next month.

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