Pakistan, ICC move closer to resolving World Cup dispute
Wednesday, 29 July 2009

LONDON, July 28 ( - The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Tuesday they were closer to resolving their dispute about the staging of the 2011 World Cup.

Pakistan's cricket authorities mounted a legal challenge in May after the ICC decided to move all the tournament's matches out of the country for security reasons in the light of the armed attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in March.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt confirmed on Tuesday that it would adjourn its legal proceedings to allow further discussions about the 2011 tournament which had originally included 14 matches to be staged in Pakistan.

"I am pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with Ijaz this morning and we had a very positive 90-minute meeting, " ICC president David Morgan said in a statement following their talks in Dubai. "We are making good progress on the issues of dispute between us.

"On the basis of today's meeting I am confident we can bring this matter to resolution in the near future so that we can all focus on the key objective for the ICC and all its members -- the staging of a successful ICC Cricket World Cup in the Asian sub-continent in 2011."

In April the ICC re-distributed the Pakistan matches among the other host nations, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, prompting the PCB to accuse the world governing body of failing to consult them over its decision.

However, Butt's comments on Tuesday suggest the two parties may heal their rift without dragging the matter through the courts. "I am grateful to David for taking the time to meet with me this morning and I am very encouraged by the discussions we have had, " Butt said in a statement.

"The PCB is keen to settle this matter out of court as soon as possible and I believe we are making good progress towards doing exactly that."

The ICC decision came after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team bus on March 3, wounding six players and their assistant coach. Six policemen and a van driver were killed.


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