Butt to garner support for Pakistan to regain World Cup co-host statusMay 22nd, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS
By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 22 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) boss Ijaz Butt flew to Johannesburg Friday to meet the top officials from South Africa, Australia and Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to garner support for Pakistan’s campaign to regain its status as a co-host of the 2011 ODI World Cup.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) last month moved games scheduled to take place in Pakistan out of the country because of security concerns. It has now convened a meeting of its executive board June 3 in Dubai to discuss PCB’s legal notice against the move.
Butt told reporters in Lahore before leaving for South Africa that he will go to Dubai with an open mind.
He said that the PCB is ready to propose a neutral venue for the World Cup matches in a bid to find a solution to its dispute with the ICC.
Butt said all possible efforts will be made to get the matches back on Pakistani soil.
“We will, as per the hosts’ agreement we have all signed, submit a satisfactory security plan to the ICC for games in Pakistan. Should that plan not be satisfactory then we will put forward a proposal for a neutral venue,” stressed Butt, a former Test batsman.
The PCB chief said that it was looking at either the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - where it hosted the West Indies last year and Australia in April-May this year - or Malaysia.
“We have in our minds the options of the Middle East and Kuala Lumpur. That process and procedure is part of the hosting agreement that we all signed,” said Butt.
The PCB chairman said he had met ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar - the man who will be ICC president from next year - on the issue during a tour of India earlier this week.
“We decided some solution has to be worked out and we will have a discussion in Dubai June 3 and all the officials will be there, so I hope a solution will be found,” he said.
Butt said the ICC had agreed Pakistan had certain rights in the issue.
“The ICC has acknowledged that our hosting rights cannot be taken from us. These are contractual commitments that are strong even if we agree that there might be different interpretations there,” said Butt.
Butt is hoping that he will able to amicably solve the current crisis with the help of diplomacy and an out-of-court settlement will be reached with the ICC over the World Cup hosting issue during the June 3 moot.
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