ICC to take consensus decision on Champions Trophy

Published: Monday, July 21, 2008, 15:01 [IST]
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Karachi: Cricket's world governing body will take a decision acceptable to all competing nations about the hosting of the Champions Trophy amidst security fears in Pakistan, a top official said Monday.

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 International Cricket Council (ICC) held a meeting at its headquarters in Dubai Sunday with representatives from all eight teams to brief them about security arrangements.

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

"After the security briefing on Sunday we now have a board meeting to take a decision acceptable to all the competing nations," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told AFP.

"And as we have maintained, we would not compromise on safety and security of players," said Lorgat, who took charge of his office last month.

"We are trying our best to hold the tournament as per schedule and hope that it is not postponed," Lorgat said.

He described Sunday's briefing as "satisfactory" but warned that concerns remained despite Pakistan Cricket Board's best efforts to convince otherwise.

"There have been concerns because no guarantees, as far as safety and security are concerned, can be given by the PCB, the ICC or security consultants," he said.

"We need to do everything in our power to secure and safeguard officials, but we can never issue guarantees... but there is no specific threat to any sport, particularly cricket."

The ICC said in a statement Sunday, "Until and unless the board decides otherwise, the tournament will proceed in Pakistan."

The (PCB) said it was confident that an incident-free Asia Cup, which took place in Pakistan from June 24-July 6, proved the country is safe for playing cricket.

But 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, again raising fears about safety in Pakistan.

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

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