Pakistan rules out neutral venue for World Cup games

Pakistan has ruled out holding its share of 2011 World Cup matches at a neutral venue.

updated: July 30, 2009 10:05 IST
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Pakistan has ruled out holding its share of 2011 World Cup matches at a neutral venue.

"There's no such clause in the agreement among the four co-hosts, so it's not possible," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt told reporters after attending a meeting of a parliamentary sports committee.

Butt briefed lawmakers on his ongoing legal dispute over the International Cricket Council's decision to strip Pakistan of co-hosting rights on security grounds.

"We are looking toward an out-of-court settlement with the ICC and I am hopeful that we will settle the issue some time next month," Butt said.

The ICC has promised to still give the PCB $10.5 million as a co-host despite distributing Pakistan's share of 14 World Cup matches among the other co-hosts: India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"Four of our demands have been met while the dispute is on the other two," Butt said without elaborating which of the PCB's demands are yet to be fulfilled.

"I can't go into the details," Butt said.

Pakistan was ruled out as a World Cup venue after gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's team bus and security convoy in Lahore in March, leaving six police officials and a driver dead.

The PCB could not convince the other co-hosts that Pakistan could organize its share of matches at a neutral venue, most likely the United Arab Emirates where Pakistan played a one-day series against Australia in April-May.

The cricket board started legal action against the ICC before the game's governing body guaranteed the $10.5 million payment.

Butt met ICC chairman David Morgan on Tuesday. They said no final agreement was made to defuse the legal threat but will have further talks. In the interim, the legal action is on hold.