x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Pakistan pressing for share of games

The ICC have not closed the door on Pakistan's proposal to have the 14 matches played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Sources within the International Cricket Council (ICC) say that the world body have agreed in principle to give Pakistan a fee of more than US$10million (Dh36.7m) to compensate for the loss after their share of the 2011 World Cup matches were taken away. In addition, the ICC have not closed the door on Pakistan's proposal to have the 14 matches played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai saying that the arrangement would further be discussed with the president-elect Sharad Pawar, the former Indian board president, who is an influential figure within the ICC.

India is not keen on the idea of a "fifth country" as a host. The new tournament director Ratnakar Shetty has argued: "How can they host it at an alternate venue? What is the meaning of host?". Meanwhile Pakistan have re-iterated the threat that they would exercise their legal options if they do not get their share of 14 games. According to sources, Pakistan are struggling to bargain with their co-hosts - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The emerging feeling is that Pakistan may get the money as well being able to host a few matches out of the allotted 14, but only in one city in the UAE. And that venue is likely to be the capital city which recently hosted Pakistan's bilateral series against West Indies and Australia at the impressive Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

The ICC president David Morgan said he hoped the issue of Pakistan's share of matches - including a semi-final - would be finalised "in the coming days." Another meeting between Morgan, Pawar and the Pakistan board chairman Ijaz Butt is due to be held in London on Friday. kshyam@thenational.ae