India abandoned Pakistan, says former ICC chief

A former chief of the ICC believes India abandoned Pakistan as co-host of the 2011 World Cup.

updated: May 14, 2009 09:18 IST
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A former chief of the International Cricket Council believes India abandoned Pakistan as co-host of the 2011 World Cup, exposing the deteriorating cricket relationship between the Asian neighbors.

Ehsan Mani said India should have stood by Pakistan's right to be co-host of the 2011 event, and the fact it didn't shows the co-operation between the Asian teams within cricket's power structures was beginning to evaporate.

"I'm afraid so and I'm very sorry to say it," Mani told on Thursday.

Pakistan was stripped as co-host, on security grounds, at last month's ICC board meeting.

"This was a time when India should have come forward, shown leadership and said 'it's all four of us as hosts, or none of us,'" Mani said.

"Asia got worried they would lose the 2011 World Cup altogether and decided to dump Pakistan."

Mani, a Pakistani who was president of the ICC from 2003-06, is now an adviser to the Pakistan Cricket Board in its legal battle against the ICC's decision.

The PCB has served a legal notice to the ICC over the legitimacy of its removal as World Cup host, and asked the ICC's Dispute Resolution Committee to refer the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Britain.

Mani criticized the ICC for not taking the PCB into confidence before the board's meeting.

"There was no pre-meeting dialogue with the PCB here and ICC should have taken the lead in that.

"I said to the ICC you should have thought of alternative solutions. They said the PCB had not put any such proposal forward but the ICC should have been examining these things."

The ICC also moved the Champions Trophy from Pakistan to South Africa due to security fears, but will give Pakistan the hosting fee. Mani said the same should be done for the 14 matches Pakistan was due to host at World Cup 2011.

"If Pakistan gets the Champions Trophy hosting fee even if that event was taken away, why does the same logic not apply for the World Cup?" Mani questioned.

He also acknowledged the legal action by the PCB had strained relationships with the ICC.

"They (PCB) were between a rock and a hard place. They were marginalized, losing the hosting money _ what was their choice?

"Roll over quietly, or make some noise? Pakistan feel they were misled at the meeting and had no idea this was going to happen. One should have been upfront about it."

Mani is among those advocating a hosting swap for the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, with the upcoming event to go to Australia and New Zealand, with 2015 reverting to the four Asian hosts.

He said the response from Australia and New Zealand was that they were happy to host the 2011 World Cup but wanted to keep 2015 as well.