WORLD CUP CRICKET – 2011

July 16th, 2009 by Ravi Matah | Posted in Sports   No Comments »
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OPTIONS OPEN TO PAKISTAN

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said in Lahore on 15th July 2009, that he will continue to make efforts to revive Pakistan’s status as a 2011 World Cup host even after the event’s organisers redistributed the country’s share of matches between India, Sri Lanka and Bangla Desh.

ICC World Cup 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup will be hosted by three South Asian Test cricket playing countries; India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Fourteen national cricket teams are scheduled to compete in The World Cup which will be held during February and March 2011.

The World Cup was originally to have been hosted by Pakistan as well, but in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore outside the Gaddafi Stadium on 3rd. March 2009, the International Cricket Council (ICC) were forced to strip Pakistan of its hosting rights. 

Pakistan was supposed to hold 14 matches, including one semi-final.  ICC has decided that the 14 matches would be held in other three co-host nations; India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.  .

The PCB stands to lose $10 million due to the tournament being taken away from them. This figure includes the match-fee of $750,000 per match guaranteed by the ICC. The overall loss to the PCB is expected to be much greater. It is difficult to hold matches inside Pakistan because of lack of adequate security cover due to the terror threat. Pakistan have already suffered substantial revenue losses due to the cancellation of tours by Australia and India last year.

After being stripped of its co-host status, Pakistan made the bid to host its share of matches in the cities of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, as a neutral home venue. David Morgan, ICC President has ruled out the shifting of Pakistan’s share of world cup matches to a neutral venue.

Today, it was mentioned in a  press note, and I quote, – “PCB’s argument is that Pakistan has been edged out unreasonably with pressure tactics applied by the Indian Board in the aftermath of the recent terror related controversies.”

How long will this blame game continue? What options does Pakistan have now?  First and foremost, the leaders in Pakistan have to unite,  set aside their personal ambitions, and strive  to refurbish the reputation of their country as a cricket loving nation.

The level of fool-proof security cover at cricketing venues has to be drastially improved. They have to pull up their law enforcement machinery and lapse on anyone’s part, has to be made accountable. They have to make good relations with their neighbours, particularly India. What better friend can they find elsewhere? Pakistan now needs support from other countries on various International platforms, be it cricket or the economic front. And hosting 14 World Cup matches would have definitely boosted their economy as well as improved their International status as a cricket loving country.

Ravi Matah

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