ICC defends its decision to postpone Champions Trophy

September 8th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday denied that it goofed up the holding of Champions Trophy in Pakistan, and said the tournament would have lost its sheen with top teams refusing to participate.The ICC also rubbished media reports that world cricket has been split into two groups on the issue of Champions Trophy.

“You cannot force players to play if they have decided against participating due to security reasons. You can’t do much. You need to give them an environment where they can compete without any fear and can play comfortably,” ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat told reporters here.

“We worked with the teams. We had put in a system in place but at the end of the day, it’s their take. Most people respected that decision. There was no point in holding the tournament without the important teams. The last thing we wanted was to hold a Champions Trophy which was not world class,” he said.

When asked whether the ICC has been divided into two blocks - Asian and rest - Lorgat said: “I have been involved in debates and discussions in ICC. I have never come across any such thing. I have heard and have been asked about this before also. I do not know where these stories surface from.”

Lorgat, who was here to announce the nominations of the ICC Awards, also said that world body would make sure that dates of revised Champions Trophy, the Champions League, and the India-Australia ODI series in October next year do not clash.

“I don’t think the FTP (Future Tours Programme) is running out of control. We have a chief executive committee meeting in Dubai this week where we’ll discuss the calendar. There is an existing framework for FTP and we will work under the framework,” he said.

Lorgat does not read too much in the missing of top nations like India and Australia from the Spirit of the Cricket award.

“It is just a reflection of what kind of cricket some other countries have produced. But it’s not necessary reflection of what kind of cricket the top countries have played. The players and the match referees are there to take care of thes things,” he added.

Lorgat said that they will be reviewing the newly adopted umpiring referral system at its meeting in Dubai.

“We will go through the reports of the Test series between India and Sri Lanka. We have got feedback from Mahela Jayawerdena and Anil Kumble. I have spoken to Mahela, he has given a positive response. We will discuss all these and see how to go forward.”

Lorgat also said that ICC has seeing tremendous growth at all level and is working to take the sport to other nations.

“There is an extensive development programme. The fact that we now have 104 member countries show that we have an extensive drive programme. There is tremendous boost in terms of funding. There is lot of resources.”

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