NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India are ready to host extra matches in the 2011 World Cup if Pakistan lose staging rights in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lankan team, the head of the Indian cricket board said Wednesday.
“The issue would come up at the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting where it would be discussed among all the members,” Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar told Reuters from Nagpur.
“India is willing. There is no problem.”
Pakistan’s hopes of jointly staging the World Cup with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka appear bleak after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore Tuesday, injuring six players and killing seven Pakistanis.
Even before the incident, security fears in Pakistan forced the ICC to first postpone and then move the Champions Trophy, now scheduled for later this year.
Manohar said he had not spoken to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials since the attack, which has shaken confidence in sporting events in the Indian sub-continent, but felt the prospects of that country staging World Cup matches were slim.
“I haven’t spoken to them, (but) it could be tough for them.”
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told a news conference in London Tuesday it was difficult to see international cricket being played in Pakistan for the foreseeable future.
Pakistan are scheduled to stage 14 World Cup matches and India 22. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are due to host nine and six games respectively.
ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar has asked the ruling body’s president David Morgan to call a meeting of cricket board chiefs to discuss the situation.
“In the next 8 to 10 days the schedule for the meeting will be known,” Pawar told Reuters.
The ICC have already asked the World Cup hosts to pick alternate venues within or outside their country if security issues crop up.
Pakistan have been asked to play international matches in neutral venues following the attack.
BCCI officials are due to meet in Mumbai Friday to discuss the developments, a senior cricket official said.
Editing by Alison Wildey