Terror-prone subcontinent may lose 2011 cricket World Cup: report

November 30th, 2008 - 10:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 30 (IANS) The terror attacks on Mumbai can snatch from India the rights to host the cricket World Cup in 2011 with western world raising the concern over the security of the players in the subcontinent.India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are scheduled to stage cricket’s marquee tournament in February and March of 2011. But if the decision to shift the venue is taken, then Australia and New Zealand who are to host the World Cup in 2015, become the possible choices, according to a media report.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland Sunday said the safety and security issues surrounding the 2011 World Cup were “bound to come up” next weekend following the recent terror strikes in Mumbai.

A meeting of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executives in South Africa next weekend is set to discuss putting another country on standby or shifting the tournament to curb constant speculation over player safety which led to the cancellation of the Champions Trophy, scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan this year, reports the Herald Sun.

“It hasn’t been talked about but that may well have changed because of this Mumbai incident but one would hope the World Cup and other events that are planned for various places in the sub-continent can go ahead as planned,” Sutherland was quoted as saying.

Australia was put on standby to host the 2007 World Cup when it appeared the West Indies were labouring in their attempts to have new stadiums and infrastructure built on time.

Sutherland said he did not know if another country had been put on standby for the 2011 tournament.

“I don’t know the answer to that. It’s something that down the track would need to be looked at, but we are very keen for it to go ahead where it has already been allocated,” he said.

“Let’s see how things settle down after the tragic events of Mumbai.”

ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said the discussions about shifting the tournament is yet to take place.

“A decision would have to be made soon if that was to happen because we need a good run in to get the World Cup ready on time,” he said.

Several tours of Pakistan have been cancelled for security reasons while Federal Government advice encourages Australians to avoid Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

These countries are all but certain to resist any attempt to shift the billion-dollar tournament, even though they were recently criticised by the ICC for being 10 months behind in preparations.

Former Australian captain Greg Chappell said the Mumbai terror rampage would change the players’ perspective of India.

“It will have a profound effect, I think, on cricket and where and how tournaments are conducted in the future, so it’s going to be a challenging time for everybody involved,” Chappell said.

“A lot of people will be giving some thought about how to progress from here and I would think most players will wait and see, but it’s changed the landscape irrevocably now.”

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