Wednesday, July 23, 2008 / Labels: ICC
A decision on whether to move the ICC Champions Trophy from Pakistan in September because of security concerns will be made on Thursday. The International Cricket Council 10 full members will take a vote on it. The ICC held a security briefing on Sunday for the eight teams taking part but a decision was not been reached.
The ICC is concerned about potential security threats beyond the Pakistan Cricket Board's control. Last month a suicide bomber killed 15 people in Islamabad. In a statement the ICC said: "While there was recognition the PCB had gone to great lengths to provide a high level of security during the Asia Cup and would do so again during the ICC Champions Trophy, concerns were expressed about the potential for threats beyond the PCB's control. "These concerns will now be taken to the ICC board during the course of this week with the board then arriving at a definitive decision on the location of this year's Champions Trophy.
"Until or unless the board decides otherwise, the tournament will proceed in Pakistan." The PCB believes it is safe to host the 18-day tournament in Pakistan. "If it's a battle of legality and logic, we have won it," the PCB's chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi said. "But if still they say that they have reservations, what can we do?" Eight teams - Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England and the West Indies - will participate in the tournament, scheduled between 11 and 28 September. But England, Australia and New Zealand have voiced concerns about safety and security after bomb attacks in Pakistan over the past several months. Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh is among those urging a change of venue. "Based on expert reports read and heard during Sunday's meeting there is no way the ACA can recommend touring Pakistan at this time," Marsh said.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "If it was up to player representatives, they would prefer not to be in Pakistan because of the environmental or external risks." Sri Lanka and South Africa are possible alternatives to host the competition.