The ICC has postponed the Champions Trophy, which was due to begin in Pakistan in 19 days’ time, to October 2009, after five of the eight participating nations confirmed during a teleconference on Sunday that they would not send their teams for the event due to security concerns.
South Africa had on Saturday pulled out of the tournament, which was originally scheduled to be held from Sept 12-28 in Karachi and Lahore, and the ICC was informed on Sunday that Australia, England, New Zealand and West Indies, too, would not be participating.
The ICC will now meet in September to finalise a window for the tournament in 2009 and, while Pakistan will be given “first preference” to host it, a decision on the venue may be taken only after a security assessment of the country is done around February, after the India tour.
Sources who attended the ICC’s teleconference said there was the option of the tournament being relocated to Sri Lanka, the official alternate venue, but India and Pakistan remained adamant against a change.
India, the sources said, were not willing to sacrifice Pakistan. The Sri Lankans too didn’t press their case, as they supported the Pakistan view that a venue change could not be made on security grounds. The meeting was held in an amicable atmosphere because most of the issues had been thrashed out among the members beforehand, rendering the final discussions a mere formality.
– About Cricket –
Sandesh Kumar Jaggi