PCB gives up demand to host WC matches at neutral venues

 

"We have given that demand up (hosting World Cup matches at neutral venues) on the advice of our lawyers. Because there is no clause in the agreement between the IDI board of the ICC and the four World Cup co-hosts which allows matches to be held at neutral venues.

So that option is out of question," Butt told reporters in Islamabad after attending a hearing of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports.

Butt claimed that despite there being no clause allowing matches at neutral venues, the board had tried its best to host its share of matches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but failed.

"The situation now is we can't host our share of matches at home or at neutral venues so naturally we are trying to extract maximum benefits from the ICC," he said.

Butt, though, refused to comment whether Pakistan had also demanded that the ICC and other host nations pay it earnings from gate money and hoardings of the 14 matches shifted out of the country besides the hosting fees of those ties.

"You can speculate, I cannot divulge everything. But obviously we are trying to get maximum financial benefits from the disappointment of losing our share of the World Cup matches," Butt added.

The PCB chief also said talks are on with the International Cricket Council to reach an amicable solution, which he claimed has been held up over two issues.

"I can say there were six points on which we had discussions with the ICC. After my recent meeting with ICC President David Morgan, four have been resolved but two remain unresolved."

These two issues, said Butt, were key in resolving the dispute between the ICC and PCB, which had threatened legal action over cricket's governing body after it shifted the 2011 World Cup matches out of the country.

PCB, though, has now decided to go for an out of court settlement in its bid to diffuse the crisis.

"I can say this much we are definitely going to have an out of court settlement on this issue. There will be no legal action from us. We are hopeful that by our next meeting, sometime in second week of August, we will also resolve these two issues," he said.

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