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Oz, NZ launch joint bid for '11 World Cup

Australia and New Zealand announced they would jointly bid to host the 2011 World Cup, but a top official admitted they were underdogs to host the event.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 12:59 IST

Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday announced they would jointly bid to host the 2011 cricket World Cup, but a top official admitted they were underdogs to host the event.

A combined bid from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was the favourite to be named as host at the ICC's annual conference in July, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

"I think it's really difficult to say, at this stage we would say we're probably coming from behind," Sutherland said.

"At the same time ... all we can do is lay on the table our credentials.

"In very recent history Australia have hosted the Olympics, hosted the Rugby World Cup and with the Commonwealth Games coming on there's a proven track record of performance that stands us in good stead," he said.

Sutherland said Australia and New Zealand's facilities, track record of staging large sporting events and experienced sporting personnel were "really strong factors in our favour".

New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia officials negotiated for a month to produce a 258-page bid document handed to the International Cricket Council in Dubai on Tuesday.

The bid calls for matches to be held evenly in both countries but the host city of the final has yet to be decided, officials said.

Australia and New Zealand previously jointly hosted the ICC World Cup in 1992 when the final was held in Melbourne.

The two countries previously combined to bid for and win the 2003 Rugby World Cup. But the arrangement ended in acrimony when a contractual dispute over stadium sponsorship in New Zealand saw all games played in Australia.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden said New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia had a strong relationship and were prepared to work as partners to host the matches in February and March 2011.

"We are confident that we have a world class bid," he said.

"Both countries have the capability to host an outstanding event. We have fantastic venues, solid infrastructure and professional staff who are experienced in event management at the highest level."

Defending champions Australia will be among the 16 teams contesting the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies from March 11.

First Published: Feb 28, 2006 12:59 IST