ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa only if financially viable

March 13th, 2009 - 11:26 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, March 13 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) decision to shift the Champions Trophy series from Pakistan to South Africa because of security concerns will only take place if Cricket South Africa (CSA) is not left with a huge bill, as had been the case in past tournaments, according to CSA chief executive Gerald Majola.

“”We don’t want to host the tournament and eventually sit with a huge account,” Majola told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here, even as he confirmed that South Africa had the infrastructure and expertise to play host to the 11 other nations in the Champions Trophy.

“If the ICC can assure us that this will not happen and that we will benefit financially from it, there is no problem with hosting it here,” Majola said, adding that he wanted a clause about the host fee going to Pakistan to be amended as well.

The ICC has reportedly decided that Pakistan also needs to benefit financially because the tournament had been taken away from the country.

“There will also have to be more money invested in security and I want the assurance that those costs will be carried (by the ICC).

“In the past, with the World Cup and Twenty20 series, we heard afterwards what the hosting thereof had cost and we had to pay the accounts. I learnt my lesson from (those experiences) and will not be caught out like that again. That’s why I will now ensure that all costs are covered by the ICC,” said Majola.

A final decision is expected Monday and South Africa will be the host if the ICC provides the financial security that has been requested.

Recent violence in Pakistan, including the attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team, has caused serious security concerns about hosting tournaments there. The Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan last year was cancelled.

The ICC has ruled out Sri Lanka as a new venue because of the heavy rains there at the time the tournament is proposed. The weather pattern in South Africa at that time - September and october - is considered to be ideal for the 12-day tournament.

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