Asia is strong World Cup bidder, says Ehsan Mani

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :Rubbishing media reports quoting him as saying that the joint Asian bid for the 2011 World Cup was weakened by the late submission of the compliance book, ICC President Ehsan Mani today cleared that the sub-continet will be very much in the fray when the governing body meets in Dubai on Sunday to decide on the host of the mega event.

''It was an interesting statement and senior BCCI official I S Bindra also asked me about it. But the thing is I didn't visit Karachi and don't know where it came from,'' he told.

''The decision to award the World Cup will be taken by the Executive Board and that requires support from seven full, Test-playing members' support,'' he added.

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have submitted a joint Asian bid and faces challenge from the Aussie-Kiwi bid. The Asian bloc missed the first deadline in March and was given an extension until April 21.

Making it clear that ICC can't ignore the sub-continental bid with four Test playing nations joining hands together, Mr Mani said, ''We can't overlook the Asian bid. After all India is the largest cricket playing nation and I think they might think it their right to host the World Cup. This time the bid is by four Test playing nations.'' ''Besides, we have also agreed in Sydney to award every third World Cup to Asia,'' he added.

BCCI President Sharad Pawar, who and Mr Mani signed the hosting agreement of the Champions Trophy today, also seemed confident about what he dubbed Asia's ''rightful'' demand.

''This is not a proposal moved by India alone. We want to share the opportunity with others and there will be more participation this time. I just hope ICC gives us the opportunity,'' Mr Pawar said.

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