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ICC board to decide Champions Trophy host

Published: Sunday, July 20, 2008, 18:01 [IST]
 
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Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Sunday said its executive board will take a final decision on the host of September's Champions Trophy amidst security fears in Pakistan.

The year's biggest one-day tournament, featuring the top eight Test nations, is due to be held in Pakistan from September 11 to 28 but Australia, England and New Zealand have raised fears about security.

The ICC held a meeting at its headquarters in Dubai Sunday with representatives from all eight teams to brief them about security arrangements Pakistan made during the recent six-nation Asia Cup.

As well as likely hosts Pakistan the other teams competing in the Champions Trophy are South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

"A meeting was held to brief the security arrangements made by Pakistan in the Asia Cup in June-July and now the concerns will be taken at the ICC Board meeting in due course to arrive a definitive decision on the location of this year's Champions Trophy," an ICC press release said.

"Until or unless the board decided otherwise the tournament will be processed in Pakistan," it said, without giving a date for a final decision.

Despite the trouble-free hosting of the Asia Cup, a suicide bomb blast in the capital Islamabad earlier this month killed 19 people and a series of small bombings rocked the port city of Karachi.

Rawalpindi -- which adjoins Islamabad -- Lahore and Karachi are the scheduled venues for the tournament.

Team representatives Sunday heard from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on its security plans in the lead-up to, and during, the Trophy, the ICC statement said.

"While there was recognition the PCB had gone to great lengths to provide a high-level security during the Asia Cup and would also do so again during the Champions Trophy, concerns were expressed about the potential threats beyond the PCB's control," the ICC said.

PCB's representative at the meeting, Shafqat Naghmi, was adamant that Pakistan should host the event.

"Pakistan's case is strong and we see no point in moving or not holding the Trophy in our country after full assurances on security," Naghmi, the PCB chief operating officer, told AFP.

With Sri Lanka, the designated alternative venue for the tournament, also facing renewed violence between Tamil Tiger rebels and government troops, South Africa and England have been mooted as potential replacements for the event.

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