PCB confident over hosting Champions Trophy

July 7th, 2008 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

By K.Hussain
Karachi, July 7 (IANS) Pakistan’s Cricket Board (PCB) remains confident that the ICC Champions Trophy will be held in Pakistan even as a deadly blast killed 19 people in Islamabad Sunday when the country was hosting the Asia Cup final in Karachi. The suicide bombing forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to issue a statement that it will pull the Champions Trophy out of Pakistan if there was any threat of violence against its participants.

There were more concerns Monday evening when a series of blasts rocked Karachi — one of the venues for the Champions Trophy.

But a senior PCB official was confident that the ICC will continue backing the Board over the Champions Trophy pencilled in for this September.

“The ICC has been supporting us on the Champions trophy and we are confident that it will continue doing so,” Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s chief operating officer was quoted as saying in The News.

“Last night’s bombing in Islamabad was an unfortunate occurrence but we are hopeful that the government will control the situation.”

Naghmi reiterated the PCB’s stance that violence in Pakistan is not aimed at sportsmen and the Champions Trophy will be held trouble-free like the six-nation Asia Cup that concluded Sunday.

His statement came after ICC chief Haroon Lorgat made it clear that there will be no compromise on safety issue.

“The ICC will not compromise the safety and security of any individual at any of its tournaments and if it is not appropriate to play in any country then we will not do so,” Lorgat said in a statement.

Players from Australia, New Zealand and England have raised security concerns and may boycott the Champions Trophy if it is held in Pakistan.

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