Dubai:International Cricket Council on Saturday denied it had acted in "haste" while stripping Pakistan of its 2011 World Cup hosting rights, an allegation made by that country's cricket administrators and former players.
"We all fully understand how disappointing it is for cricket fans, players and administrators in Pakistan. The decision was not taken lightly or hastily," ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said here after a meeting with Pakistan Sports Minister Aftab Shah Jilani, who expressed his country's displeasure at losing out to host 2011 World Cup.
"Our number-one priority is to deliver a safe, secure and successful event and the uncertainty created by events within Pakistan created a huge question mark over our ability to do that," he said in a statement.
Lorgat re-iterated the cricket fraternity was searching for ways how soon international cricket is started in Pakistan.
"The important thing for us now is to work out how we can prevent the game from suffering more than it has to. Every ICC Member agrees that Pakistan is an important part of the international cricket family and we are searching for ways to protect the future of the game there.
"We want teams to return to play cricket in Pakistan as soon as possible and we are willing to assist the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to prepare for that time," Lorgat said.
Lorgat called on Jilani, who came to the ICC headquarters here to express dissatisfaction at the decision of the game's governing body.
"We had a very fruitful and amicable meeting. We did not agree on every point but I am confident the ICC is committed to making sure international cricket will flourish again in Pakistan," Jilani said after the meeting.
"The ICC is a very important body and cricket cannot be revived in Pakistan without it. Having spoken to Lorgat I now know the ICC will not let Pakistan cricket fall back during this difficult time," the minister added.