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World Cup panel told to plan for venue switch

THE International Cricket Council has asked 2011 World Cup organizers to plan alternate venues if it becomes difficult to play in Pakistan due to security concerns.

"It is a consideration that we have to give attention to," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said after a World Cup organizing committee meeting in New Delhi.

"This is not something we discussed today, except to ask the organizers to consider alternate host city venues within the country as well as alternate country venues in the event something is not favorable in one of the particular host countries."

The one-day tournament will be hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Lorgat said there was no need yet for major concern.

"I think it is still a long way off to the World Cup," he said. "It is certainly a consideration to keep note of but it is way too early to be already concerned at this particular stage."

Pakistan did not play a single test last year after teams, including Australia, refused to travel. The ICC took away this year's Champions Trophy from Pakistan after postponing the prestigious one-day event from last September over a possible boycott by five of the eight teams. A new venue is yet to be announced.

Strained relations between India and Pakistan after the militant attacks in Mumbai last November have added to the uncertainty over the tournament scheduled for early 2011.

"I think it is way too early to be presumptuous and assume that things won't work," Lorgat said. "When we come close to the event, obviously we have to pay much more attention to the issues like safety, security and relations between the countries.

"But I can assure you at this stage we are planning a World Cup for all four countries."

The ICC asked the organizers to speed up preparations, saying they were 10 months behind schedule.

New code

Meanwhile, cricketers from Pakistan and Sri Lanka have been briefed about changes to World Anti-Doping Authority rules which came into effect from January 1 this year.

The new code has several changes from the ICC's previous anti-doping regulations, including the adoption of the International Registered Testing Pool, made up of the leading players from each of the top eight one-day international teams.

All players selected in the IRTP will be required to provide additional information about their whereabouts throughout the year in order that the ICC can implement an effective out-of-competition testing program in line with the requirements of the WADA code.


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