Champions Trophy to proceed as planned earlier

Doubts lingered over the fate of the Champions Trophy with the Australian Cricketers’ Association telling its members not to travel to Pakistan even as the ICC said the tournament would proceed as planned.

While Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive was confirming in London that the tournament would stay in Pakistan, and saying it was up to the individual boards to decide on participation, Paul Marsh, the chief executive of the ACA, said he didn’t believe it was safe.

“The ACA has discussed the situation with its executive and our position is we can’t recommend to our players they should tour Pakistan for the Champions Trophy,” Marsh told the Australian. “We feel for the Pakistan Cricket Board and the people of Pakistan but it is the job of the ACA to make recommendations to our members based on whether it is safe to tour. Unfortunately in this case we don’t believe it is safe.”

“We have not heard anything officially from Cricket Australia and until we do we are not in a position to make any comment,” an ICC spokesman said.

The news from Australia came shortly after Lorgat addressed a press conference in London and said safety and security in Pakistan was “satisfactory” and the tournament would proceed as planned next month.

He was speaking after a meeting with the ECB as part of the ICC task force that has been travelling around the world. On Sunday the group met with the England players and their representatives in Edinburgh and now the ECB has received a detailed briefing, following similar discussions in Australia and New Zealand led by David Richardson, the ICC’s general manager of cricket.

The ECB held a board meeting on Tuesday afternoon, at which they were expected to come to a decision on their participation in the tournament after consultation with other boards around the world

“What we have done is to very clearly outline to each of these stakeholders the plan that we have in place for the Champions Trophy in Pakistan,” Lorgat said. “Understandably there are safety concerns and that’s what we are engaged in and we are dealing with.

“The ECB has received a briefing from us and have gone into a board meeting. They will consider our briefing among other reports that they may have on whether they will participate or not. But that is a decision for the ECB, as far as the ICC are concerned the safety and security is satisfactory for hosting the tournament in Pakistan.”

However, while admitting that the final decision on participation lay in the hands of the ECB, Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and Cricket South Africa – whom Lorgat will meet later in the week – he refused to rule out ICC sanctions for countries that didn’t take part or send weakened teams.

Recent political developments in Pakistan, with Pervez Musharraf resigning as president, continue to present an uncertain landscape, but Lorgat said that as far as the Champions Trophy is concerned nothing has changed in the last 24 hours.

The Champions Trophy is due to start on September 12 after it was pushed back a day following concerns of starting on the anniversary of 9/11. The tournament has already been reduced to a two-venue event after construction work at Rawalpindi failed to be finished on time. All the matches will now be staged in Lahore and Karachi, but the future of the entire tournament is still far from certain.

– About Cricket –

Sandesh Kumar

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One Response to “Champions Trophy to proceed as planned earlier”

  1. matt Says:

    Interesting. I’ve also been exploring Aussie happenings, particularly in the world of kangaroo boxing, as well as koalas, Barry Crocker, and Matthew McConaughey over at the Rodeo.

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