New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) Uncowered by the strong Aussie-Kiwi joint bid and unperturbed by the fact that they have missed the deadline, a defiant BCCI -- key component of the Asian Bloc -- today oozed confidence that the 2011 World Cup will be held in the sub-continent.
''As everyone knows, it was decided earlier to award every third World Cup to Asia and there is no way we can be denied that,'' Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah told UNI today.
Talking over phone, Mr Shah said representatives of the cricket boards from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh met BCCI President Sharad Pawar at his residence here last night and everything was finalised during the meeting.
Clarifying that the Asian bloc was filing the Letter of Intent today, an assured Mr Shah said, ''We have worked on every detail and filing it today. There is no hiccup and we are confident of hosting the World Cup.'' The BCCI secretary seemed least concerned by the fact that the India-Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Bangladesh joint bid had missed the February 28 deadline and that could be a ground for its rejection by the ICC.
''First of all, it is Asia's turn to host the event, going by the earlier decision and hence we are not losing our sleep over the joint Australia-New Zealand bid. Missing the deadline was our concern as well but Asia is putting up a joint bid and hence there should not be any problem,'' he explained.
Asked whether ICC would buy this argument or not, Mr Shah said, ''The ICc Executive Board Meeting is scheduled on March 20 and 21 and Mr (Sharad) Pawar will be present there. Let's see what emerges out of the scenario.'' Earlier, last night, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan, after meeting Mr Pawar at his residence, exuded confidence that ICC would uphold the appeal and award the event to Asia.
On missing the deadline, Mr Khan said with four governments involved in the process, it was natural to be a time-bound exercise and he was also optimistic that ICC would relent.
He also admitted that distributing the matches among the four aspiring host nations also took some time while the issue of tax exemption too figured in the meeting.
Apart from him, Mohammad Asgar Ali (Bangladesh) and Duleep Mendis (Sri Lanka) also attended the meeting.
UNI AY PM SSC1413