23 Apr 2009

Pakistan protest loss of World Cup matches

6:02 am on 23 April 2009

Pakistan have lodged a protest with cricket's governing body over the shifting of 2011 World Cup matches to other nations because of security concerns.

Last week the International Cricket Council stripped Pakistan of 14 matches they were scheduled to host, citing the "uncertain security situation" in the troubled country.

The fixtures will go ahead in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed says their stance is that all four co-hosts of the World Cup were not treated equally by the ICC and they should have waited for six months before taking this decision.

The ICC had cast serious doubts over Pakistan's chances of hosting World Cup matches after last month's terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team, which left seven players and their assistant coach injured and killed six policemen and a van driver.

Sri Lanka were forced to abandon the tour mid-way through the second Test.

Even before the Lahore attacks several national sides refused to tour the country, where the army has been fighting an increasingly trenchant insurgency by Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda.

In February this year the ICC was forced to shift the eight-nation Champions trophy from Pakistan after several teams refused to tour.

The event will now be held in South Africa in September and October.

Australia, who have not been to Pakistan since 1998, refused to tour over security fears and forced their host to play a five one-day and one Twenty20 match series in the neutral venues of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.