PCB thanks Indian board for backing on Champions Trophy

July 24th, 2008 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 24 (IANS) After the International Cricket Council (ICC) backed Pakistan for hosting the Champions Trophy Thursday, the Pakistan Cricket Board thanked the Asian bloc, especially India, for throwing their weight behind them and convincing the member countries that the venue should not be shifted. The decision to retain Pakistan as the Champions Trophy hosts was taken after a tele-conference that took place between the ten full members of the ICC. The ICC decided that the elite eight-nation tournament will be held in Pakistan in September in spite of security concerns raised by some of the competing nations especially title-holders Australia.

It was decided during the tele-conference to form a ‘task force’ that will review the security arrangements being made by Pakistan for the tournament in a bid to assuage such fears that evoke threats of boycotts from leading players belonging to Australia, England and New Zealand.

PCB chief Nasim Ashraf acknowledged the support of the Asian bloc, particularly India.

Ashraf told a news conference in Lahore that the world cricket community proved that it was “united” by taking a positive decision.

“The cricket world today showed unity and took a decision in the larger interest of the sport,” said Ashraf.

“I would like to thank all cricketing nations, especially India. I appreciate the wisdom shown by all member countries,” he added.

Ashraf said Pakistan will host the “signature” event of the ICC in a befitting manner.

But before doing that, Pakistan will have to convince a special task force that will be visiting the country soon to review security arrangements.

Ashraf said ICC president David Morgan will head the task force that will include Sharad Pawar (ICC vice-president), Haroon Lorgat (ICC chief executive), I.S. Bindra, Nasim Ashraf and representatives of the players association and broadcasters.

The PCB chief said the task force will visit Pakistan within the next few days to review “whether the security plan given by Pakistan for the Champions Trophy is implemented properly.”

He said the members of the task force will visit the venues and also meet high-ranking government officials.

Ashraf said that during the tele-conference, which lasted for almost three hours, some of the competing nations frankly expressed security concerns.

“But we’ve convinced them that Pakistan is a safe destination for sports,” he said.

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