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South Asian bid confident of staging 2011 Cup - official

Written by: Staff
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KARACHI, Apr 11 (Reuters) A senior official with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is confident that a combined bid by four South Asian countries has a good chance of winning the right to stage the 2011 World Cup due to its revenue-earning potential.

Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will submit their final bid to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on April 20 while their only competitor for the event, Australia and New Zealand, are expected to put forward a revised joint proposal.

The Oceania nations submitted an initial bid in February, but according to PCB director Saleem Altaf, both countries have withdrawn the application to make revisions to the original plan.

''But the amount of money the ICC can make from having the World Cup in this region is more then they will get from Australia and New Zealand,'' Altaf told Reuters today.

The ICC awarded the 2007 World Cup to the West Indies and it is expected to name the 2011 hosts by the end of June.

The heads of the four Asian cricket boards met last week in Delhi to discuss the bid and have planned 51 matches for the event.

''It has been decided that India will host 22 matches at eight venues, we (Pakistan) will have 14 games, Sri Lanka nine and Bangladesh six,'' Altaf said.

Pakistan have chosen Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad as their possible World Cup venues while Sri Lanka will host all their games at two venues in Colombo.

Altaf added that if the World Cup was awarded to South Asia, the participating fees for nations playing at the event would be increased from the current 10 million dollars.

Although the original cut-off date for submitting bids was in February, the ICC allowed an extension to the Asian countries after they argued they needed more time to complete the ICC ''compliance document''.

Altaf said the exhaustive document was related to confirming the facilities the host countries could offer in visa and travel arrangements, taxation, clean stadiums and security.

Pakistan and India combined to host the 1987 World Cup and joined together with Sri Lanka to hold the event ten years ago.

REUTERS PM PM1513

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