Pak seek support on WC fight

LAHORE: Pakistan’s cricket chief left on Friday on a South Asian tour to try to win support in his battle against the ICC’s decision to strip the country of its World Cup matches.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has legally challenged last month’s decision by the International Cricket Council to move the country’s 14 World Cup 2011 matches due to the “uncertain security situation.”

The PCB said the decision to remove Pakistan as

a co-host contravened ICC articles and the 2006 agreement that awarded the competition jointly to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt flew first to Sri Lanka following former ICC president Ehsan Mani’s suggestion to keep “back-channel communications” with the ICC and its member countries open throughout the dispute. Butt will meet Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee head Somachandra De Silva in Colombo and then travel to Delhi to meet ICC vice president Sharad Pawar regarding the World Cup decision, PCB chief operating officer Salim Altaf said.

The PCB has complained to the ICC that the World Cup move was legally flawed and on Tuesday sent a letter to ICC Dispute

Resolution Committee. It also warned the matter could be taken to the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) — a global body based in Switzerland to solve sports related disputes — if the need arises.

Altaf said Butt was also due to visit Bangladesh before going to South Africa to attend the semi-finals and final of the Indian Premier League. Following the ICC decision, co-hosts India will now have 29 matches including a semi-final and the final, while Sri Lanka will host 12 matches with one-semi-final, and Bangladesh will hold eight matches and the opening ceremony.