Spot-fixing verdict would not affect WC: Lorgat

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat says an upcoming verdict on spot-fixing allegations against three Pakistan players will not tarnish the World Cup.

“There’s some time between when the verdict is released …. we were keen to have it well before the start of the World Cup,” Lorgat said on Saturday.

An anti-corruption tribunal against Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer ended last week with no decision and a verdict was deferred to Feb. 5.

The World Cup begins in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Feb. 19 and Lorgat said the subcontinent will be ready, although five grounds have yet to be completed.

The final is scheduled to be played at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on April 2, although the venue is still a building site.

“Five stadia are still to be completed but there are no alarm bells ringing and I’m sure they will be ready well before the World Cup,” Lorgat told a media conference in Melbourne on Saturday.

Mumbai will host two group matches on March 13 and 17 in addition to the final. Calcutta will host four group matches, the first on Feb. 27 between India and England.

Both venues missed the original deadline for construction of Nov. 30, and the ICC ordered faster progress so the stadiums will be ready for handover to the ICC on Jan. 31.

Criticism of the slow construction was similar to the buildup to the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last October, when officials raced to the last minute to prepare venues and accommodation.