Vital Windies vote fetched Asia the World Cup

Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Vital vote from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) combined with assurances of lucrative financial returns to the participating nations tilted the balance in favour of the Asian bloc during the crucial ICC Executive Board vote to award the 2011 World Cup hosting rights.

A Pakistan Cricket Board official said that it was a vital seventh vote from WICB that sealed the South Asian bid after England sided with Australia and New Zealand.

The Asian bloc needed seven votes to win the right to host the mega event and they garnered 10 out of 13 votes.

Besides the 10 Test playing nations, three associate members -- Israel, UAE and Malaysia -- had voting rights.

''At the crucial ICC Board meeting in Dubai, South Africa and Zimbabwe supported the Asian bid, but Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh still required one more vote to seal the bid. The West Indies went with the Asian bloc in the final voting,'' the PCB source said.

According to him, Pakistan and India knew beforehand that they would get the votes of South Africa and Zimbabwe but had gone to Dubai specially prepared with a development plan for the WICB, which is suffering from financial problems and lack of cricket development in their islands.

''It was a case of Pakistan and India telling the West Indies 'you support us and we will help you revive cricket in the West Indies','' he said.

The source also disclosed that the Indian and Pakistani representatives told the member nations at the meeting that if Asia gets the right to host the tournament they were guaranteed a minimum appearance fee of around 14 million dollars each and also another 400,000 dollars per match.

Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel then voted in favour of the four Asian countries, which made up the final 10 to three vote count.

''The two African nations have traditionally closer ties with Asia than with either Australia, New Zealand and England and that mattered a lot in the end. The Afro-Asia Cup series held last year also helped in the two African nations going the Asian way,'' the PCB official said.

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