Pakistan's intent to seek legal recourse on hosting rights issues may have cast a shadow on the 2011 World Cup but the ICC today made it clear that there was no risk of the event being shifted out of the Indian sub-continent.
Pakistan's share of 14 matches has been allotted to other three co-hosts and the strife-torn country has threatened to take legal action against the move.
As the ICC gears up for the tussle, the governing body's President David Morgan told PTI in a telephonic interview that it would not impact the hosting of the event in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Asked specifically whether the seemingly prolonged dispute could result in the World Cup being shifted out of South Asia, Morgan said, "No, I don't believe that the 2011 ICC World Cup will be shifted away from the Indian sub-continent."
Morgan insisted that Pakistan continues to have the hosting rights of the matches and would be entitled to the fees.
"I think it's important to emphasise that Pakistan has lost none of its hosting rights. All the hosting rights they had, they remain entitled to them. However it has been decided that none of the matches would be staged in Pakistan," he said.
Matches were taken away from Pakistan after a series of terror attacks in the country, including the one on the Sri Lankan cricket team, which left six of the visiting players injured.
Morgan also ruled out organising Pakistan's share of matches at a neutral venue, an idea floated by the Pakistan Cricket Board, making it clear that the games would be shared by the remaining three co-hosts.
"The ICC Commercial Board has decided that all the matches scheduled originally in Pakistan would be hosted by other co-hosts, that is Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India," he said.
Asked what the ICC would do in case of prolonged legal battle with the PCB, Morgan said, "Well, I can't discuss that at this stage."
Pakistan is also not too happy with the draft Future Tours Programme (FTP) and has accused India and Australia of sidelining it by not scheduling any bilateral series.
But Morgan said there was no such intent on BCCI's part and the Indian Board was tied down by certain restrictions.
"BCCI clearly has some restrictions on it in playing bilateral tours in Pakistan. What I'm concerned about is that a cricketing nation, as powerful as Pakistan, should not be isolated", he said.
2011 World Cup Will Remain in Indian Sub-Continent: ICC
M R Mishra, New Delhi
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