ICC concerned about 2011 World Cup venues in Pakistan

February 17th, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) In the midst of political turmoil in Pakistan, International Cricket Council (ICC) Tuesday asked the organisers of the 2011 World Cup to look for alternate venues in the country and if the situation worsens also outside strife-torn Pakistan.
After the meeting of the 2011 World Cup Central Organising Committee here Tuesday, ICC chief-executive Haroon Lorgat said that the situation in Pakistan was of prime importance for the world body. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will jointly host the World Cup.

“It’s a consideration that we have to give attention to. This is not something we discussed today, except to ask the organisers to consider alternate host city venues within the country as well as alternate country venues in the event of something is not favourable in one of the particular host countries,” Lorgat said.

But Lorgat felt that since enough time was left for the event there was no reason to get worried.

“I think it’s still a long way off to World Cup. It is certainly a consideration to keep note of but it’s way too early to be already concerned at this particular stage,” he said.

Asked if he was optimistic of a change in situation in Pakistan, Lorgat said: “I’m optimistic by nature. But at the same time, I’m no crystal ball gazer. But we are monitoring the situation regularly and we recently got the board to support that ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) would take on the extra responsibility of monitoring security on an ongoing basis.”

He also said that the ACSU was consulting Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi and are mulling to deploy officials during the second edition of the Twenty20 league in April.

“We are in discussion with Mr. Modi. They are keen to have ACSU officials in IPL and we also feel it makes sense,” he said.

The ICC chief executive also said that out of the 15 World Cup venues, eight will be in India, four in Pakistan, two in Sri Lanka and one in Bangladesh.

The meeting was chaired by committee president Sharad Pawar and was attended by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) president Ejaj Butt and chief executive Saleem Altaf, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary N. Srinivasan, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) chief executive Duleep Mendis and Bangladesh cricket board officials. ICC Principal Adviser Inderjit Singh Bindra was also present.

The committee also appointed Pakistan’s Salim Butt as the managing director.

ICC’s concerns come a day after Pakistan government signed a treaty with a pro-Taliban leader to impose Islamic Shariat law in the Swat Valley, in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

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