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Pawar to head 2011 World Cup organising committee

June 18, 2007 16:44 IST

Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar, after being elected chairman of the 2011 World Cup Organising Committee on Monday, vowed make the event spectator-friendly with low priced tickets for cricket-crazy fans in the subcontinent.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Naseem Ashraf was named chief convenor of the organising committee, which would be headquartered at Lahore.

Sujeeva Rajapakse of Sri Lanka was named treasurer of the joint-committee, which will meet again in November in India.

At the meeting at Bhurban, the organisers also decided to have a common visa, for which they would seek their respective government's help.

The decision to keep ticket prices within the reach of the common man of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- joint hosts of the event -- was taken after this year's World Cup in the West Indies drew flak for low spectator turn-out.

"The World Cup is an opportunity for us to showcase South Asia to the world and we plan to make it one of the most spectator-friendly and low cost tournaments for them," Pawar said at a press conference after the meeting.

"It is important to have a common visa for players, officials and media in particular to make it a smooth event," he said.

A common Caricom visa was also issued by the Caribbean community for the 2007 World Cup.

Ashraf said since Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka all had prior experience of hosting the World Cup, the determination is there to make it a memorable event.

The four South Asian countries got the hosting rights for the World Cup after much lobbying within the International Cricket Council last year after Australia and New Zealand settled for the rights to organise the 2015 edition.

Much of the decisions taken at the meeting today centered around ensuring the mistakes of the 2007 World Cup held in the West Indies are not repeated again.

The ICC and the West Indies cricket board faced a lot of criticism during the 2007 World Cup over its duration and also the high price of tickets for the local population.

Pawar said the cooperation of the governments would be secured also to have a common visa for the World Cup.

Mahboob-ul-Anam of the Bangladesh cricket board promised to learn from the experience of the three other boards and to make the World Cup a big success in his country.

On more important issues, the meeting decided to discuss the terms of reference of the World Cup, including its duration, with the International Cricket Council later this year.

The meeting also decided to ask the ICC for special funds to develop and upgrade existing stadiums in the four countries that host matches.

India is due to stage 22 matches including the final, Pakistan 14, Sri Lanka nine and Bangladesh six.

"The ICC gave special funds to the West Indies to improve their stadium. We would like to have the same for our tournament," Ashraf said.

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