ICC to decide on final Champions Trophy venue today

August 20th, 2008 - 12:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Dubai, Aug.20 (ANI): The International Cricket Council will decide today whether next months Champions Trophy will be held in Pakistan or in some other country.
According to The Age, ICC officials continued with their inspections of cricket grounds in Pakistan, even as speculation was rife that the Champions Trophy could be shifted to Sri Lanka.
The holding of the tournament is fast becoming the biggest organizational headache for cricket officials.
The game’’s governing body has held meetings with the Australian, English and New Zealand boards, but failed to convince them of Pakistan’’s safety, while South Africa is also likely to pull out if the eight- nation one-day competition remains there.
Further clouding the issue was the resignation of Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf on Monday, which was promptly followed by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf - a close friend of Musharraf, who appointed him to the position.
It was felt there would be added instability in the volatile region with a shift in government, while Ashraf’’s resignation raised doubts about whether the tournament, scheduled from September 12-28, would remain in Pakistan.
But senior Pakistan official Shafqat Naghmi, clearly annoyed with the response from Western nations, said last night there was no chance of a shift.
“It will not be moved from Pakistan, I am not even willing to answer any questions to that effect,” said Naghmi, the board’’s chief operating officer, before unloading on Cricket Australia’’s secretive security assessment.
“I am more than disappointed, this has gone beyond logic. Their position, I don”t understand - the ICC has determined that Pakistan is safe, they have various sources to judge the security measures in place.”
“If (Cricket Australia) has other security information which is negative, why don”t they share it with us? Why don”t they make us wise? They have not told us of any concerns, they have been dealing with the ICC. How come they are not willing to trust the ICC? Where are they getting their security information from? They won”t tell us, their security information is dubious.”
A Cricket Australia spokesman responded: “Our information is specific to being in an Australian team in Pakistan at this particular time, so it is distinctively unique, and there are also particular interpretations different organisations will make of the information.”
Cricket Australia would send a team to Sri Lanka, believing that it is safer than Pakistan because there have been no direct threats made to Westerners.
The board of the Australian player union yesterday confirmed it could not recommend players tour Pakistan, citing an “unacceptable risk”, and the union view is shared by Cricket Australia.(ANI)

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