India to bar move to shift World Cup venues: Sources

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003, 21:56 [IST]
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New Delhi: India is not in favour of shifting World Cup matches out of Zimbabwe and Kenya, cricket sources said on Wednesday, and will definitely object if this is done selectively. England and New Zealand want its games in Harare and Nairobi respectively moved to South Africa, the primary host of the World Cup from February 8 to March 23, citing security concerns.

The executive board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is scheduled to host a teleconference on Friday to review the situation that has wrecked the build-up to the event. India, which wields considerable influence in the executive board despite its row over players' terms, is expected to take a tough stand on moves to shift venues, sources said.

"The ICC has so far resisted attempts to take World Cup matches out of Zimbabwe and Kenya, and we support that stand," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources. "Organisers have spent money and effort to host these games, you just can't take them away." BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya was not available for comment, but sources said any "selective" shift of venues will be vehemently opposed. British newspapers have reported that the ICC is considering a compromise formula to relocate Australia and England's matches from Zimbabwe and New Zealand's game from Kenya.

India, along with Pakistan, Namibia and The Netherlands are also scheduled to play in Zimbabwe, while Sri Lanka has a game in Kenya. Even Pakistan will back India on the issue, the sources added, since it changes the "level playing field for cricketers". "The playing conditions should be the same for all teams," they said. "All the other group 'A' teams have to travel to Zimbabwe, why should England and Australia be exempted from that?"

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