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Pakistan confident to get hosting rights of cricket World Cup 2018

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-19 17:02:37

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that could not host any international tournament for more than 10 year due to security threats in the country now looked confident and optimistic to get rights to host the 2018 World Cup, officials said on Friday.

An official of the PCB told Xinhua that the board had formally submitted a bid to the International Cricket Council (ICC) early this week with the hope that the authorities would consider its proposal positively.

The PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf visited Dubai to attend a gathering of ICC members and submitted the bid to the ICC management that was later forwarded to the Cricket Governing Body for final words.

So far, Pakistan has got the hosting right of the Cricket World Cup thrice but could host the mega event only twice.

First, Pakistan hosted the international tournament in 1987 along with India as co-host. Second, Pakistan co-hosted the World Cup in 1996 along with India and Sri Lanka with its final played in Lahore.

Pakistan also got the hosting rights of 2011 World Cup along with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but its quota of matches was shifted to the other three co-hosts after the international teams showed reluctance to play in Pakistan due to security threats.

No international team visited Pakistan during last four year and all kinds of international cricket activities and matches remained suspended since the terrorist attack at the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009.

At least eight people, including six policemen and two civilians, were killed and six Sri Lankan players injured when some terrorists attacked the team bus in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.

The incident not only made Pakistan's sports grounds barren but also cost it millions of dollars revenue loss as it lost the hosting rights of the 2011 World Cup and a number of home series.

After the attack, Pakistan's national cricket team has been playing its home series on neutral venues in the other countries, like Sri Lanka, England and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Last year, Bangladesh Cricket Board showed willingness to send its team to Pakistan for limited-over matches but backed out at the last moment, making pretext of security concerns.

The PCB official believed that Pakistan had the brighter chance of winning the hosting rights of the 2018 World Cup as it was not allocated to any country so far.

By the time of 2018, Pakistan will be the only full member country of the ICC that will be without hosting any major cricket event for almost 22 years.

"We are confident that by 2018 the security conditions in Pakistan would be much approved after peace establishment in Afghanistan and northwestern region of Pakistan, and foreign teams will not have any issue for visiting Pakistan," the official said.

The next World Cup will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in Feb-March, 2015.
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