Pakistan unhappy at South Africa’s Champions Trophy pullout

August 22nd, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Aug 22 (IANS) Pakistan’s campaign to stay as hosts of next month’s Champions Trophy received a major blow Friday when South Africa pulled out of the eight-nation contest because of security concerns.Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that it won’t be sending a team for the Champions Trophy and has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reschedule the tournament.

A spokesman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) described South Africa’s move as “unfortunate”, and pointed out that Pakistan is taking all possible steps to host the Champions Trophy in a successful manner.

The tournament is supposed to take place Sept 12-28 in Karachi and Lahore but with fears that Australia, England and New Zealand may also withdraw, chances are now dim the event will be held as scheduled.

“After extensive discussions and frank exchange of views, the board has resolved not to send our team at this time to Pakistan for the Champions Trophy,” said Norman Arendse, the CSA president, in a statement. “We respect the right of the PCB to stage the tournament and we would urge the ICC to reschedule the tournament as soon as possible,” he added.

But the PCB spokesman pointed out that a tight future tour programme of the ICC would give little chance of finding a slot for the Champions Trophy in the near future. “If the Champions Trophy is not held next month, then chances are that it won’t take place in the coming months.”

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