IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

No World Cup without Pakistan, says PCB chief


ijazPakistan’s cricket chief Ijaz Butt declared on Thursday that there will be no World Cup in 2011 if his team is unable to feature in it because of strained relations with India — the major host of the quadrennial spectacle.

Soon after receiving a unanimous approval from the PCB Governing Board for an out-of-court settlement, Butt appeared confident that he would be able to work out the best possible deal for Pakistan as far as the 2011 World Cup is concerned.

According to Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has already reached a 90-95 percent agreement to settle the matter of the shifting of World Cup matches from Pakistan because of security concerns.

Pakistan had sent a legal notice to the ICC after it relocated Pakistan’s share of 14 World Cup games from the country earlier this year. The PCB decided to take the matter to court but later agreed to have a settlement following a series of meetings between Butt and top officials of the ICC and the three other host nations — India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — during June and July in England and elsewhere.

Butt needed an approval from the PCB’s Governing Board before inking a deal with the ICC, something that he received during a special meeting here on Thursday.

“The Governing Board has unanimously agreed that we should decide the issue out of court,” he said.

Butt confirmed that Pakistan will receive ample financial compensation in exchange of giving up its court case but will lose the right to host the World Cup games on home soil or at neutral venues.

He refused to disclose the amount involved but it is believed that Pakistan will roughly receive about US$20 million and that includes a guaranteed sum of $10.5 million as hosting fees of 14 World Cup games.

However, the thorny issue of whether Pakistan will be able to travel to India and play World Cup games is yet to be resolved.

Things may have cooled down a bit as far as Pakistan-India relations are concerned but the situation is still far from conducive for the two countries to meet in high-profile cricket games on Indian soil.

India refused to send their team to Pakistan late last year after a terrorist attack in Mumbai in November. Since then, both countries have suspended sporting ties though there have been a couple of minor breakthroughs with Pakistan sending its squash and table tennis colts across the border for international events earlier this summer.

Butt said that the final decision on whether Pakistani cricketers will be allowed to go to India will be taken by the government. “It’s for our government to decide about it,” he said.

When asked whether there are any contingency plans in case political situation in 2011 will prevent Pakistan to play on Indian soil, Butt made it clear there will no World Cup without Pakistan.

“Off course, there are contingency plans,” he said. “If there are security problems then the World Cup will go to Australia and New Zealand. But if by any chance Pakistan cannot take part in it, then there will be no World Cup,” stressed Butt, a former Test cricketer.

Speaking on PCB’s strained relations with other regional boards, Butt said that there were political reasons attached to the problem. “It’s all political,” he said referring to the strained relations between Pakistan and India.
Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 14th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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