South Africa emerges favourite to host quadrangular tournament

August 27th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Aug 27 (IANS) Just days after pulling the plug on the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan, South Africa has emerged as the favourite to host a one-day international cricket tournament that would compensate for the postponement of the eight-nation contest.According to details, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts South Africa have agreed to play a four-nation tournament that might also involve India, starting mid September.

The News quoted a top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official as saying Wednesday that the three teams have already confirmed their participation in the quadrangular in South Africa while negotiations are on to rope in the fourth contestant.

Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s chief operating officer, said that after two days of discussions, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa have confirmed their participation for the quadrangular while the final spot will be filled in by either India or Australia.

Naghmi said that the idea of having such a contest was floated by the PCB after it received a major blow when the International Cricket Council (ICC) was forced to postpone the Champions Trophy because of security fears. Pakistan were supposed to host the biennial spectacle in Karachi and Lahore Sep 12-28.

Ironically, it was South Africa who landed a killer blow on Pakistan’s hopes of hosting the Champions Trophy next month by pulling out their team, citing security apprehensions. Naghmi said that the South Africans responded positively to Pakistan’s proposal of having a series of matches in September.

The postponement of the Champions Trophy left the Pakistan team without any international commitment till November when it will feature in a low-profile, offshore series against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

The PCB is set to suffer major losses following the postponement of the Champions Trophy and needed to make some profits to avoid a financial crunch.

Naghmi said that the planned series in South Africa will help PCB make some money. He said that the details of the series are yet to be finalised but added that the contest will take place in the second half of September.

“It would be held more or less around the same time the Champions Trophy was supposed to take place,” he told the paper.

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