Champions Trophy hosts Pak get a ~~shot in arm~~

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Karachi: The PCB's hopes of hosting the Champions Trophy got a much needed boost with Indian team manager Aravind Ganguly voicing his approval for the security arrangements at the ongoing Asia Cup.

''Pakistan clearly has a good cricketing environment and I think the security arrangements are also good. We are not concerned with this aspect as it is well taken care off,'' Ganguly told mediapersons after the Indian team's practice session at the National bank complex here on Thursday.

''The Indian team is very happy to be in Pakistan for this tournament and we are enjoying ourselves and feeling at home. The hospitality is good,'' he added.

Ganguly said he had no doubt the security would be even better for the Champions Trophy in September and urged the Australians to cast aside their fears.

''I would tell the Australian and New Zealand teams they must come to Pakistan for the Champions trophy. Whatever fears they might have in their mind will be cleared once they come here and see the excellent arrangements and cricketing environment,'' he stated.

Windies more than willing to play in Pak: Despite concerns over safety and security for the 2008 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan, West Indies captain Chris Gayle is not worried and is ready to play in the September event.

''Whatever the ruling is, we will go there. It is not like we can say we are not going to Pakistan,'' Gayle said to media in St Vincent.

''It is an ICC sanctioned tournament. I don't know if it is up to any team to say we are not going. Whatever they say, we will work with it,'' he added.

West Indies last visited Pakistan for a three-Test series in 2006 and Gayle said security arrangements at the time were satisfactory.

''When we were in Pakistan, we didn't have any problem at all,'' he stated.

''Everything was okay. We played cricket. We got it out of the way and it was back home. Security was okay. It was tight.''

Pakistan is due to host the Champions Trophy which starts on Sept 11. But the tournament has come under a cloud with defending champions Australia voicing fears over Pakistan's ability to host the event given the volatile security scenario in the country.

An ICC delegation assessed the security arrangements in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi last month and a report will be presented during its board meeting which starts in Dubai on June 29.


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