No immediate threat to 2011 WC: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board has rubbished speculations about a possible threat to the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent.

updated: December 02, 2008 18:03 IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board has rubbished speculations about a possible threat to the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent with Chief Operating Officer Saleem Altaf saying the preparations for the mega-event was running on schedule.

Altaf, who is a key figure in the 2011 World Cup preparations, feels that there is no immediate threat to the tournament because of the increasing security problems in the sub-continent.

Altaf's comments came after the Australian media has reported that in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks and the worsening security situation in India and Pakistan, the International Cricket Council was contemplating of keeping a standby venue for the 2011 mega-event to be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and would discuss the issue in its chief executives meeting next week in Cape Town.

"We have been given a deadline by the ICC to complete some tasks as far as the joint World Cup Organising Committee is concerned and we are doing that on schedule," he said. Altaf, who will be attending the chief executive's meeting, said preparations were on to activate the World Cup Central Secretariat in Lahore and some fresh appointments would be discussed at the coming meeting.

"So far everything is progressing on schedule and we have to update the ICC on the progress made in setting up the Central Secretariat at the coming meeting," he said. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have already been told by the ICC to step up its preparations for the tournament and there was also a move to have a common visa for for teams, officials, broadcasters and tourists for easy travel.

India and Pakistan have jointly hosted the World Cup with great success twice before in 1987 and 1996.

Sources say the 2011 World Cup is on the agenda for the chief executives meeting and Altaf is supposed to update the members on the preparations. The meeting is also expected to discuss the budget for the event which would be approved in the ICC's Executive Board meeting in Perth in late January.

Meanwhile, Altaf also made it clear that Pakistan had adopted a wait and watch policy as far India's tour to Pakistan early next year was concerned.

"The ball is now in India's court. They have to decide what to do. But we are all for the series to take place on schedule," he said.

"Any alternate plans and options can only be discussed once we know the stance of the Indians," he stated.