Asia promises cricket World Cup as “big as football”

NEW DELHI, May 1 (AFP) – Asia’s cricket chiefs celebrated the award of the 2011 World Cup by vowing Monday a spectacular event that will be “as big as the one for football”. A joint bid by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh defeated the rival bid by Australia and New Zealand 10-3 at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Executive Board meeting in Dubai on Sunday.

Inderjit Singh Bindra, the former Indian cricket boss who made the Asian presentation on Sunday, said he was confident from the start that the bid would win.

“We only had to stress that cricket is a religion in our part of the world, everything else is secondary,” said Bindra.

“Bollywood movies, official functions, even marriages, are arranged depending on the cricket schedule. No one does anything else if a big match is being organised.

“Traffic will once again come to a stop in four countries in 2011. There will be more than a billion viewers in the sub-continent and another billion in the rest of the world.

“We are confident 2011 will represent a new landmark as a cricketing and sporting milestone. The cricket World Cup will be as big as the one for football.”

Bindra, who had l