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Pakistan disappointed after losing World Cup

THE Pakistan Cricket Board expressed disappointment yesterday after the game's governing body removed it as co-host of the 2011 World Cup because of security fears.

"It's disappointing to lose the hosting rights of the World Cup," PCB Chief Operating Officer Salim Altaf told an Urdu daily, adding that further details would be available once PCB chairman Ijaz Butt returns from the International Cricket Council's board meeting in Dubai.

"(Butt) will tell the reasons for this tough decision once he returns home," Altaf said.

The ICC board said it acted due to the "uncertain security situation" in Pakistan, which was due to co-host the event with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistan's viability as host of a scheduled 14 World Cup matches was put in serious doubt after the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by a dozen gunmen in Lahore last month, injuring several players and killing six police officers and a van driver.

Former test batsman and national coach Javed Miandad, who was named PCB director general earlier this month, said the ICC should have waited before making a decision.

"I am deeply hurt by this decision because it's still two years to go in the World Cup," Miandad said. "I think the ICC should have waited for some time before deciding to remove Pakistan as co-host."

About 100 protesters in Karachi burnt cricket bats and chanted slogans. They demanded that the ICC reverse its decision. "We are being deprived of watching international cricket," said protester Usman Moazzam. "It's an absolute injustice."

The PCB said yesterday it estimated financial losses of US$10.5 million after the ICC's decision.

"We lose out on earning the hosting fees of the matches ... the ICC pays out the host country US$750,000 for each match," Altaf said.

Pakistan was scheduled to host 14 matches, including one semifinal.


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