There was one man who sported the biggest grin at the Event Identity Launch of the 2011 Cricket World Cup to be co-hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Zakir Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board's Director, Cricket Operations, was mightily pleased he attended the ICC event in Mumbai on Tuesday as Sharad Pawar the ICC vice-president said that Pakistan was very much part of the organizing committee.
“All the three boards, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India will organise the 2011 World Cup in a dignified manner,” Pawar said.
“I am upset that our major partner Pakistan are not hosting a single match because of the unfortunate circumstances. Though Pakistan is not organising a single match, they will be very much part of us to help organise a dignified manner,” Pawar said.
But only a while earlier before the function to unveil the World Cup, the 2011 World Cup Central Organising Committee (COC) met under the chairmanship of Pawar but without PCB being represented.
Zakir, though, was the cynosure of all eyes, though he did not utter a word.
Pawar, who is also the chairman of the COC, said that it was the Indian cricket board's initiative "not to charge heavily on tickets for the World Cup". “We want the student community to be able to afford the tickets, after seeing what happened in the West Indies. We don't want to earn money through gate collection,” Pawar said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of ICC, Haroon Lorgat said that the 50-over World Cup would still be the showcase event (and not any other version).
“You can see the value of the World Cup. The flagship event is the 50-over World Cup and I don't think anything can compete with it,” Lorgat said.
The ICC got together some members of the previous World Cup winners — Clive Lloyd of West Indies, Aravinda de Silva of Sri Lanka, Michael Bevan of Australia and India's Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Dilip Vengsarkar — on one stage to mark the event.
The most eye-catching part of the evening, though, was the laser show that relived the glorious moments from the previous nine World Cups.
India will host a majority of the matches in the 2011 World Cup to be staged in southern Asia, as per the recommendations made by the tournament's central organising committee (COC) on Tuesday.