Pakistan lose fight to co-host ICC World Cup

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed disappointed on Saturday after the game's governing body removed it as co-host of the 2011 World Cup because of security fears.

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed disappointed on Saturday after the game's governing body removed it as co-host of the 2011 World Cup because of security fears.

"It's disappointing to lose the hosting rights of the World Cup," PCB chief operations officer Salim Altaf said.

Altaf said further details of the decision would be available once PCB chairman Ijaz Butt returns from the International Cricket Council's board meeting in Dubai.

"(Butt) will tell the reasons for this tough decision once he returns home," Altaf said.

The ICC board said it acted due to the "uncertain security situation" in Pakistan, which was due to co-host the event with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistan's viability was put in doubt after the Sri Lankan team bus attack by gunmen in Lahore last month injured several players and killed six police officers and a van driver.

Former test batsman and national coach Javed Miandad, who was named PCB director general earlier this month, said the ICC should have waited before making a decision to remove them as co-host.

"I am deeply hurt by this decision because it's still two years to go to the World Cup," Miandad said.

The ICC also signaled a warning that international cricket might not return to Pakistan for several years.

Security concerns forced Australia to postpone its scheduled tour in March 2008. The ICC first postponed and then shifted the Champions Trophy from Pakistan to South Africa, while India canceled its tour in January in the wake of last November's Mumbai attacks that strained relations between the neighbors. - Sapa-AP

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