Pakistan ICC talks heat up

THE International Cricket Council (ICC) will debate Pakistan's future as a World Cup host later this week after talks failed between South Asian co-hosts for the 2011 event.

THE International Cricket Council (ICC) will debate Pakistan's future as a World Cup host later this week after talks failed between South Asian co-hosts for the 2011 event.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said it will resume legal proceedings against the sport's governing body following a lack of agreement with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on where Pakistan should host its matches.

The matter will come up for discussion when the ICC holds its annual meetings here from June 22 to 26, but a final resolution could still be months away.

"The President (David Morgan) will report following recent discussions concerning the issues the Pakistan Cricket Board has in relation to the hosting of matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011," an ICC spokesman said.

The ICC has ruled out matches in Pakistan in the wake of the militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore on March 3 while it was on its way to the Gadaffi stadium to resume a Test match.

Pakistan were willing to consider shifting its share of 14 matches to the United Arab Emirates where it hosted a one-day series against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in April-May.

But the three other co-hosts want all matches to be played in the sub-continent with each nation dividing Pakistan's 14 matches among themselves, sources said.

The ICC has ruled that while matches will not be held in Pakistan, it retains its co-hosting rights for the event scheduled to be held in February-March 2011.

In an ICC-brokered deal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh agreed to forego hosting fees for the 14 extra matches that were originally due to be held in Pakistan.

It means Pakistan will still get a hosting fee of $750000 per match from the ICC - a total of $10.5million for the 14 games - irrespective of where they are held.

Pakistan's cricket chief Ijaz Butt said he was disappointed that the other co-hosts had not agreed to neutral venues for Pakistan's matches and resuming legal proceedings was the only option left to him.

Pakistan had earlier put legal action on hold to give the ICC time to mediate an agreement. The ICC has already ruled out switching the 2011 World Cup to Australia and New Zealand, the designated hosts of the 2015 event. - Sapa-AFP

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