PCB hopes to stage its 2011 WC matches at neutral venue

Sources, who are well aware of the scope of discussions that are taking place between the PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and ICC Chief David Morgan in recent days, said Pakistan was presently insisting on two demands to the ICC which had led to the deadlock in discussions between Butt and Morgan.

"Pakistan is insisting that since it still remains a host nation of the World Cup despite its share of matches being shifted from Pakistan it should have right to organise these matches at neutral venues," he said.

"It's second demand is that it will operate the World Cup secretariat if not in Lahore then from a neutral country which is mutually agreed upon by all four host nations and the ICC," the source added.

Pakistan hopes to get permission to host if not all of their 14 matches but at least some of them at neutral venues most likely Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"The PCB has taken up the issue of playing at neutral venues on the point that there is no clause in the countries agreement with the ICC that states a host country can't host its matches at neutral venues if circumstances don't allow it to hold its matches at home," one of the sources said.

The source said the present scenario was that the ICC and the other host countries -- India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- had agreed that Pakistan should get the full hosting fees for its share of World Cup matches which is amounting to USD 10.5 million.

"The ICC and the other host nations also don't appear to have any issues with Pakistan demanding that they also get the gate money receipts and hospitality boxes income for their share of matches," the source said.

The source also said Butt had recently got indications that Morgan was sympathetic to Pakistan's point of view and there was an outside chance that Pakistan could get permission from the other host countries to hold some of its share of matches at neutral venues.

"That is why Butt told the National Assembly committee that the nation would soon hear some good news," the source said.

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