Howzat we’re a back-up if India too risky

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Queenstown is an official back-up venue for one of the world’s biggest sporting tournaments. 

Mountain Scene can reveal four Cricket World Cup matches – two featuring top-tier team Pakistan – are pencilled in at the Events Centre from February 21. 

The Queenstown venue is among a network of Australasian grounds on standby in case security fears surface in the scheduled World Cup countries of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. 

“We are one of seven venues in New Zealand and six in Australia that are part of a contingency plan for the 
Cricket World Cup in February/March,” Lakes Leisure boss Fiona McKissock confirms. 

Bookings at the Events Centre are temporarily blacked out for a nine-day period from February 21 to March 1. 

McKissock says they’ll be told at the end of October – following the Commonwealth Games now on in Delhi – whether the bookings blackout can be lifted or whether the contingency plan remains. 

The International Cricket Council announced in April 2009 that the tournament would be staged in Australasia if the World Cup was taken away from the sub-continent – but venues weren’t mentioned. 

McKissock confirms Kenya would play Canada on February 21, Pakistan against Canada two days later, then Pakistan versus Zimbabwe on February 26 and Canada against Zimbabwe on March 1. 

Queenstown will still get a taste of international cricket this summer even if the World Cup is confirmed for the sub-continent – Pakistan plays NZ in a one-dayer on January 26. 

The 2015 World Cup has already been allocated to NZ and Australia but venues haven’t been announced.