DUBAI (Reuters) - Pakistan has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup because of the ‘uncertain security situation’ in the country, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said Friday.
“It is a regrettable decision (but) our number one priority is to create certainty and...deliver a safe, secure and successful event,” ICC president David Morgan told reporters after a meeting of the executive board in Dubai.
“The uncertainty created by events in Pakistan created a huge question mark over our ability to do just that.”
At least seven Pakistanis were killed and six Sri Lanka players were injured during an armed attack on their team bus as they travelled to a test match in Lahore last month.
“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,” Morgan said.
“It is highly unlikely that we will have the security clearance between now and the start date in 2011,” said Morgan when asked if Pakistan would host international tournaments in the near future.
Pakistan were due to co-host the event with India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the ICC said they would press ahead with the matches in those countries.
The ICC were looking into possible compensation for Pakistan’s cricket board as a result of being stripped off the World Cup, Morgan said.
“You can be certain that the ICC directive team is considering the burden of costs and loss of revenue the Pakistan cricket board faces,” he said, but declined to reveal further details.
Morgan said it was not the intention of the ICC to isolate Pakistan or its team from the sport.
“We are determined that Pakistan should not be isolated, it is a very important member of the International Cricket Council, possessing several of the world’s greatest cricketers.”
“All our members are keen to fulfil their cricket tours... with Pakistan and that may mean hosting games away from home for Pakistan or hosting it in third countries,” he said.
Pakistan will be hosting Australia in a series of one-day internationals in Dubai next week.
The ICC last year postponed the Champions Trophy, the second most important one-day event, due to security concerns in Pakistan and then shifted it to South Africa to be held later this year.
Editing by Miles Evans