2011 cricket World Cup shifted from Pakistan (Lead)

April 17th, 2009 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, April 17 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) Friday decided to shift the 2011 World Cup from Pakistan due to “uncertainty in security situation”.
“It is a regrettable decision given the passion the people of Pakistan have for cricket. But our number one priority is to create certainty and allow us to press on with the work necessary to deliver a safe, secure and successful event,” ICC president David Morgan said in a statement.

“There was a huge question mark over Pakistan’s ability to do that,” he said.

The decision comes after terrorists carried out an audacious strike on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore March 3 during the Test series. At least seven Pakistanis were killed and six Sri Lanka players injured in the attack.

The ICC Board discussed a report on the attack and its fall-out on the cricketing world.

The event will now be hosted in three countries, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Pakistan were to host 14 matches of the World Cup.

The tournament secretariat will move from Pakistan to a location to be determined by the tournament’s Central Organising Committee.

International teams have stayed away from Pakistan for the last one year. The last year’s Champions Trophy was postponed after top teams refused to tour the country due to security concerns.

“That was something we saw all too clearly with the delay over the decision of whether or not Pakistan could host the ICC Champions Trophy last year. The event ended up being postponed and we cannot afford a repeat of that uncertainty or any form of postponement for this event,” Morgan said.

“We hope we can put a great deal of any uncertainty to one side and prepare for the cricket’s biggest and most high profile event,” Morgan added.

The board said it would not be appropriate for international cricket to take place in Pakistan in the immediate future.

However, it was agreed that Pakistan should maintain a full programme of matches for its senior and A teams and that member nations would give all possible help.

The board received a report on the terrorist strike on a bus carrying Sri Lanka team and match officials to the stadium before third day’s play of the second Test against Pakistan.

It also heard from Emirates Elite Panel ICC match referee Chris Broad, who was on duty for the match, as well as Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jaywardena via telephone hook-up from South Africa. Pakistan captain Younus Khan was unable to attend the meeting.

The board has asked Lord Condon, the chairman of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, to lead a task team to include ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and ICC directors Jack Clarke and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar, who would conduct a comprehensive review of security arrangements for all international cricket.

“This review will include an assessment of whether current protocols employed by our members are adequate and, if they are not, what can be done to improve them,” ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.

“The ultimate purpose of the review is to help create a safe and secure environment where international cricket can proceed wherever possible.”

The board also agreed that the ICC’s management should approach other sports to see if there was scope for information-sharing in the way security is conducted across major events around the world.

“Cricket does not exist in isolation and there are many other sports in the world that, because of the current political climate, may be experiencing similar challenges to the ones confronting our game.”

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