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ICC decides Pakistan should not host World Cup 2011 matches

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) today decided that Pakistan should not host matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup (ICC CWC) 2011 in view of the current uncertainty surrounding the security situation within that country.

The decision, taken by the ICC Board on the first day of its meeting here today, means that the event will now be hosted by the three other co-hosts in the sub-continent---India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

An ICC press release said the meeting also decided that the tournament secretariat will move from Pakistan to a location to be determined by the tournament’s Central Organising Committee.

Explaining the decision to shift ICC CWC 2011 matches away from Pakistan, ICC President David Morgan said: "It is extremely regrettable that the Board has had to take this decision given the passion the people of Pakistan have for the game of cricket and for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"However, our number one priority was and is to deliver a safe, secure and successful event and the uncertainty created by events within Pakistan created a huge question mark over our ability to do just that.

"That was something we saw all too clearly with the delay over the decision of whether or not Pakistan could host the ICC Champions Trophy last year. The event ended up being postponed and we cannot afford a repeat of that uncertainty or any form of postponement for this event.

"By making this decision now we hope we can put a great deal of any uncertainty to one side and press on with our preparations which, given this is cricket’s biggest and most high profile event within our range of tournaments, are substantial."

According to the release, the Board received a report on the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team and match officials that took place in Lahore on March 3, the scheduled third day of the second Test between Pakistan and the visiting side.

It also heard from Emirates Elite Panel ICC match referee Chris Broad, who was on duty for the match, as well as Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jaywardena via telephone hook-up from South Africa. Pakistan captain Younus Khan was unable to attend.

Following discussions, the Board asked Lord Condon, the Chairman of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, to lead a task team to include ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and ICC directors Jack Clarke and Shashank Manohar which would conduct a comprehensive review of security arrangements for all international cricket.

Commenting on what it would involve, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "This review will include an assessment of whether current protocols employed by our Members are adequate and, if they are not, what can be done to improve them.

"The ultimate purpose of the review is to help create a safe and secure environment where international cricket can proceed wherever possible. It will be carried out as soon as possible."

The Board also agreed that the ICC’s management should approach other sports to see if there was scope for information-sharing in the way security is conducted across major events around the world.

Mr Lorgat said: "Cricket does not exist in isolation and there are many other sports in the world that, because of the current political climate, may be experiencing similar challenges to the ones confronting our game.

"Those challenges are in ensuring the action continues while, at the same time, creating a safe and secure environment for all those who are involved, from players and officials, through to the media and the public.

"As part of Lord Condon’s review we will seek to make contact with a range of sports and see what we can learn and also whether we can share knowledge and experiences with them."

The Board agreed that it would not be appropriate for international cricket to take place in Pakistan in the immediate future. However, it was agreed that Pakistan should maintain a full programme of matches for its senior and A teams and that Members would do all they could to help facilitate this.

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