India to host 2011 cricket World Cup final

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The Independent Online

The International Cricket Council has moved its 2011 World Cup headquarters to Mumbai and increased India's allocation of matches after stripping Pakistan of co-hosting rights following a terror attack last month on the Sri Lanka team.

India will host 29 of the 49 matches, including the final and a semi-final. Bangladesh will host the tournament opener among its eight matches and Sri Lanka will host 12 matches.

The 10th edition of the World Cup was initially scheduled to be co-hosted by the four South Asian cricket test countries.

But cricket's world governing body removed Pakistan as a host on April 17, six weeks after a dozen heavily armed gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team convoy en route to a test match at Lahore, Pakistan.

Seven players and a coach were injured in the attack and six police officers and a driver were killed in the ambush near the match venue.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat met with cricket officials from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Tuesday before announcing changes in tournament structure.

He said Ratnakar Shetty, an Indian cricket official, will be the event managing director and Shashank Manohar, Board of Control for Cricket in India, would head a security directorate.

"We have no doubts we will be able to put all security plans in place for 2011 World Cup under the guidance of the security directorate," Lorgat said. "It would be a safe World Cup."

Earlier this week, former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad called for the World Cup to be moved from Asia, citing Australia's decision to boycott a Davis Cup tennis match against India at Chennai because of security concerns.

Australia, despite the risk of a fine and suspension from Davis Cup, said it would skip the match against India starting 8 May due to the same security concerns that prompted the BCCI to switch the lucrative IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament from India to South Africa this month.

The BCCI said it only moved IPL because it couldn't get security clearance from the government because the dates clashed with general elections.

Another international Twenty20 competition, which had been scheduled to feature the leading provincial teams from five countries in India, was scrapped last November in the wake of terror attacks on Mumbai which killed 166 people and injured 304. India blamed the attack on a Pakistan-based insurgent group.