Tuesday, April 28, 2009

India to host 2011 World Cup final

Haroon Lorgat at a press conference after the World Cup meeting.

India will host the final and one semi-final of the 2011 World Cup while Sri Lanka will stage the other semi-final, the tournament's organising committee decided in Mumbai on Tuesday. India will host 29 of the 49 matches across eight venues, Sri Lanka will host 12 in three venues while Bangladesh will stage eight at two grounds as well as the opening ceremony on February 18, 2011.

The 14 matches originally scheduled to take place in Pakistan have been redistributed with eight going to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh. The quarter-finals will be shared among the three neighbours, with Bangladesh hosting two.

The committee also decided to shift the tournament secretariat from Lahore to Mumbai. BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty was appointed the event's managing director in place of Pakistani banker Salman Butt. The organising committee, headed by ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar, will include an operations and planning group comprising the Bangladesh Cricket Board senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, Indian board secretary N Srinivasan, Sri Lanka's Duleep Mendis and Shetty. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, said IS Bindra, the special adviser to the ICC, would be a key person in the management of the World Cup.

He swept aside questions on whether Pakistan would boycott the World Cup in protest at being denied hosting rights, saying "we will cross the bridge when we come to it." The ICC had to decide on the redistribution of Pakistan's 14 matches after it removed the country from the list of hosts because the "uncertain political situation" would have made it difficult to "deliver a safe, secure and successful event" in Pakistan.

Lorgat said the security concerns of the various ICC members and the players would be addressed with the formation of a special committee headed by Shashank Manohar, the BCCI chief, to oversee security details. "The security arrangements are very important and a special committee... would put together security plans for the successful conduct of the World Cup in 2011," he said.

"We are confident of organising a very successful World Cup," Lorgat said.

The subcontinent last hosted a World Cup in 1996, when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared the games. The final was in Lahore, where Sri Lanka beat favourites Australia in a famous win.