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Shifting 2011 WC matches from Pak not an Indian conspiracy: ICC

cricket Updated: Apr 16, 2010 01:59 IST
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International Cricket Council CEO Haroon Lorgat on Thursday said shifting 2011 World Cup matches from Pakistan was not an Indian conspiracy but a collective decision of the ICC Executive Board.

Pakistan was one of the four sub-continental hosts of the 2011 World Cup before the volatile security scenario prompted the ICC to shift the matches out of the country.

While many perceive it as Indian cricket board's effort to isolate Pakistan as a cricket nation in retaliation for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Lorgat sought to dispel the notion.

"Keep in mind India has only one seat on the board like other countries. All decisions are taken collectively. It is not a fair assumption that ICC is towing the line of India, we act independently," Lorgat told a press conference in Karachi.

He also dismissed suggestions that shifting 2011 World Cup matches from Pakistan on security ground was a racist decision.

Lorgat said, "It is a very complex issue, a very complicated one. It is absolutely untrue that it is a racist issue. It is one simple fact. There is a lack of confidence in visiting teams in the security and safety in coming to this environment in Pakistan.

"During the 2008 Champions Trophy issue we did everything we possibly could to get teams to come here. It was only at the 11th hour that we made a proposal for alternatives. The very simple fact is that visitors are not confident about safety and security here," he said.

In such a situation, Lorgat advised PCB to be patient and wait for the environment to change.

"My view and advice is that there was a period when South Africa was isolated and they came back into cricket equipped to perform.

"Pakistan is doing that domestically and unlike South Africa of that time, Pakistan also gets to play international cricket outside. It is a very unfortunate situation but Pakistan has the resolve and patience to overcome it," he said.

Lorgat stressed Pakistan remained an integral part of the ICC and and the cricket world would be supportive of the challenging times Pakistan faces.

"We will do everything possible to support cricket being played in Pakistan. We have to be mindful of the realities and have to convince other members to come to Pakistan but that is a process. I would appeal to everyone to exercise patience because it can't happen overnight," he said.

Lorgat is the first ICC official to visit Pakistan since the March, 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in which six Pakistani policemen were killed and Lankan players and officials were also wounded.