Champions Trophy to stay in Pakistan

Lahore, July 24:

Pakistan’s cricket chief today said that his country would host the Champions Trophy as planned but that the International Cricket Council (ICC) would appoint a commission to ensure security.

The announcement came after the ICC’s executive board held a teleconference to discuss the possibility of moving September’s biennial tournament because of security fears raised by Australia, England and New Zealand. “The Champions Trophy will stay in Pakistan and we thank all member countries for their kind support,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Naseem Ashraf said.

“The ICC will be appointing a special task force to ensure that the implementation of the recommendations of the (ICC-commissioned) security report are indeed being met,” Ashraf said. The year’s biggest one-day tournament, featuring the top eight one-day nations, was due to be held in Pakistan from September 11 to 28, with Australia as the defending champions.

Pakistan’s fate as tournament host was left hanging in the balance on Sunday after a security briefing in Dubai featuring all participating nations decided to wait for a teleconference of the ICC executive board. Players from Australia, England and New Zealand had raised security concerns.