ICL: Indian Cricket League

India to stage 2011 World Cup final; Pakistan, SL get semis


India would stage the 2011 World Cup final after Pakistan decided against contesting for its hosting rights during a meeting of South Asian cricket officials in London.

Abbas Zaidi, Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Director of Operations, told ‘The News’ on Saturday that Pakistan agreed to the consensus that India should host the World Cup final in a bid to retain an “atmosphere of harmony” among the four stakeholders — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistan also surrendered an earlier demand that they should get the two semifinals if the final goes to India. According to the deal finalised in London by the representatives of the four boards, Pakistan and Sri Lanka would host a semifinal each while the World Cup’s opening ceremony would be held in Bangladesh.

“We are hoping to make the 2011 event the best ever World Cup and for that you have to have a firm bonding among all the parties involved,” said Zaidi while explaining why Pakistan decided against contesting for the right to host the final.

“We hosted the final when the 1996 World Cup was held in the Sub-continent which was why it was India’s turn to hold it. As far as the semifinals are concerned, there is no way that Sri Lanka could be ignored. They are a major cricket-playing country in this region and it was very important to give them a fair deal. Even Bangladesh have been given a due share as they would host the opening ceremony,” said Zaidi.

“All the four boards involved in the World Cup bid and its preparations have been working very closely and in an amicable manner and it is a must that we keep things going in a positive direction,” he added.

Chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan represented Pakistan in the meeting of the South Asian cricket officials which was held on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual moot in London.

Zaidi said Pakistan might get an extra match or two for the positive attitude they have shown in the recent meeting. According to the existing plan, India are to host 22 World Cup matches, Pakistan 16, Sri Lanka nine and Bangladesh six.

He added that the World Cup organising committee would be formed later this year and stated that it would include representatives from each board and all of them would have equal powers. The committee has been named IPSB, carrying the initials of the four host nations.

Zaidi informed that Pakistan’s bid to get former Test cricketer Majid Khan nominated as the ICC Cricket Committee chairman failed after ex-Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar managed to get a one-year extension as the committee’s chief. He said the move came after an understanding with Gavaskar, who wanted a three-year term, that he would not seek any re-appointment next year.

Zaidi said Pakistan would push to get their candidate appointed as the Cricket Committee chairman in 2007. He expressed that Pakistan did manage to block a move that aimed at experimenting with the idea of allowing players to make three appeals per innings to a third umpire during this fall’s ICC Champions Trophy in India.
Source:The News

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