No 2011 WC matches at neutral venues, ICC tells PCB again

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The ICC has reiterated that there is no possibility of staging Pakistan's share of the 2011 World Cup matches at a neutral venues.

Updated: August 10, 2009 11:53 IST
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reiterated that there is no possibility of staging Pakistan's share of the 2011 World Cup matches at a neutral venues.

Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed that the meeting between Chairman Ejaz Butt and ICC President David Morgan in Dubai last month failed to make any headway on the matter.

Butt was told that Pakistan's demand that the country be allowed to host its share of World Cup matches at neutral venues would not be accepted.

"Morgan gave out a clear message to Butt that Pakistan will remain a host of the 2011 World Cup but it can't host its matches at home or neutral venues. But the PCB chief is still not willing to give up his demand," a source said.

He said the financial arrangements between the PCB and the ICC and the other joint host countries of the World Cup including India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had been worked out.

"ICC and the other host countries are willing to meet Pakistan's financial demands to a large extent including giving them a hosting fee of USD 10.5 million and a share of the gate money receipts of the matches that were supposed to be held by Pakistan," the source said.

"The only dispute now is that Butt is still insistent that Pakistan must be allowed to host some matches at neutral venues and that the World Cup central secretariat also be run by Pakistan at any neutral venue," the source said.

"He has even threatened to play the legal card if the ICC didn't accept his demand. But Morgan has remained firm on this," the source added.

He indicated that the PCB Chairman is now just buying time before making the details of the PCB's arrangements with the ICC and other host countries public.

Other well-informed sources said that neither the ICC nor the other host countries are happy with the way Butt has been dealing with them in recent months.

"The ICC has diplomatically given out a clear message to other senior PCB officials that Pakistan needs to start working seriously and initiate damage control steps to improve its relations with Asian neighbours," another source said.

The source said Pakistan has asked Morgan to again speak to the other World Cup hosts and try to convince them to allow some matches of the World Cup to be held at neutral venues.

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