Pakistan dismayed at being stripped as World Cup co-hosts

April 17th, 2009 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, April 17 (IANS) Pakistan was shocked and dismayed at International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to move the 2011 World Cup from the country.

Following its executive board meeting in Dubai Friday, the ICC announced that it has decided to move the World Cup matches out of Pakistan because of security concerns.

It said the move came after ICC noted the “uncertain political situation” in Pakistan.

Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said he was utterly disappointed.

“It’s a disappointing decision but it can’t be helped. Nobody wants to play in Pakistan following the attacks in Lahore,” said Butt, referring to the March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan squad in the city which wounded seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach and killed eight Pakistanis.

The 2011 World Cup was to be held jointly by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as Pakistan, which was to host 14 matches. It is a second major blow for Pakistan which also lost the right to host the Champions Trophy, which now has moved to South Africa.

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas lashed out at the ICC, saying it showed little sympathy for Pakistan.

Zaheer also blamed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the decision.

“It’s a great loss for the Pakistan cricket and I blame the ICC and our neighbour India, who pulled out its support when we needed it the most,” said Zaheer.

Sarfraz Nawaz, a former Pakistan Test pacer, felt it is the incompetency on the part of the PCB which led to yet another major setback for the Pakistan cricket.

“The PCB is responsible for this entire fiasco,” Nawaz said. “It is because of PCB top management that World Cup has slipped out of our hands.’

The PCB was expecting a sympathetic approach from the ICC and the major Test-playing countries over its status as a World Cup co-host.

But things went completely against them during the meeting in Dubai. The ICC executive board discussed a report on Lahore terror attack submitted by the Sri Lankan team and the match officials.

Match referee Chris Broad, who was on duty at that time, was present on behalf of the match officials to relate his experience of the incident.

Also present was Pakistan captain Younis Khan while Mahela Jaywardena, the Sri Lanka captain at the time, was available from South Africa trough tele-conference.

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