Pakistan ends legal battle on World Cup 2011

Pakistan has decided to end its legal battle against cricket's governing body over being stripped of its share of World Cup 2011 matches, an official said on Thursday.

The decision came after a meeting of the governing board of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to opt for an out-of-court settlement with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"We have decided 90-95 percent that the matter of the World Cup 2011 will be settled out-of-court as Pakistan remains the co-host of the mega event. The legal course has ended," PCB chairman Ijaz Butt told a press conference.

Pakistan officials will still work behind-the-scenes at the World Cup.

Pakistan initiated a legal case against the ICC after being stripped of its World Cup 2011 matches in April.

The ICC relocated Pakistan's share of 14 matches because of security fears after attacks in its eastern city of Lahore on the Sri Lankan team on March 3.

The attacks, which injured seven players and their assistant coach and killed eight people, appeared to end any chance of hosting international cricket in Pakistan, where teams had already refused to tour over insecurity.

But the PCB launched a legal fight against the re-location and won a stay order against moving the World Cup secretariat from Lahore to arch rival India's Mumbai.

The PCB agreed to put on hold its legal battle following requests from the ICC and the Central Organisation Committee as they wanted to negotiate the matter in London in June.

But the talks failed, forcing the PCB to threaten to revive the legal battle.

However, the PCB again tried to settle the matter out of the court. A meeting between ICC President David Morgan and Butt in Dubai last month, raised hopes of a quick solution.

Butt said Pakistan will be compensated a "substantial amount" after it settles the matter out of the court.

"Pakistan will get the hosting rights fee of 10.5 million dollars (840 million rupees) and apart from that the ICC will compensate us a substantial amount which at this point of time I don't want to reveal," said Butt.

The ICC had also ruled out relocating the matches to a neutral venue such as the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan played their recent international matches.

The Central Organising Committee of the World Cup 2011 last month awarded eight of Pakistan's matches to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh.

Butt said that hosting World Cup matches on neutral venues could have meant Pakistan taking a financial hit.

"We did think over hosting the matches on neutral venues but it could have cost us huge losses," he said.

Besides World Cup matches, the Champions Trophy 2008 was also moved out to South Africa after several teams refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.

The trophy will be held from September 21 to October 5 this year.

Source: NDTV

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