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BCCI continues to oppose Champions Trophy

Published: Friday, January 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Lahore:The Indian Cricket Board today said it would continue to oppose the concept of a long-drawn ICC Champions Trophy tournament, saying the same time could be utilised in organising a competitive bilateral series.

"This year's Champions Trophy will be played over 29 days and I think this time can be utilised in playing a more competitive and interesting bilateral series," BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told PTI at the Gaddafi Stadium on the sidelines of the first cricket Test between Pakistan and India.

Having already awarded the One-day championship to India, the International Cricket Council yesterday announced that New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai would be the venues for the tournament to be played between October 7 and November 5 this year.

India have said they would fulfil their commitment to host the tournament this year but were not in favour of holding of the championship at all.

"When the event began in 1998, it was a 12-day knockout tournament but it is getting bigger and bigger. The other point is that the event hurts the interests of India and Pakistan directly because it is held in October and November, which is a cricket season for both the countries.

"We have proposed that the ICC should only organise Under-19 World Cup other than the World Cup. We have discussed this proposal with Cricket Australia, Pakistan and the Asian Cricket Council," Shah, who arrived late yesterday evening from Karachi after attending the ICC meeting, said.

The newly-elected BCCI Secretary said Australia and Pakistan had not yet confirmed if they were ready to support India, but vowed that he would raise the matter in March's ICC meeting.

On the India-Pakistan series, Shah said the two boards had mutually decided to have the bilateral series once in two years.

"We have not signed any MoU or contract but it is a verbal understanding that while we cannot dilute the series, we cannot have it every year. It has to be on the same pattern as the Ashes that would keep the interest of the spectators alive and continue to attract major sponsors," he said.

Shah also said when Pakistan would tour India in 2008, he would like to see more matches being played.

"The tour is too far away but we would like to play more Tests and One-day internationals for two simple reasons: people want to see the two teams in action and India is a huge country and all the associations want to host Pakistan-India games."

When India toured Pakistan in 2004, they played three Tests and five One-day internationals and would be playing the same number of games on this tour.

Pakistan on their reciprocal tour last year played three Tests and six One-dayers.

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