ICC to persuade Cricket Australia to participate in Champions Trophy

August 14th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Aug.14 (ANI): An International Cricket Council (ICC) delegation will tomorrow attempt to persuade officials of Cricket Australia to tour Pakistan next month for Champions Trophy.
According to The Australian, ICC General Manager David Richardson is leading the delegation and will try to clear some of Cricket Australias doubts about the September 12-28 tournament.
Cricket players from New Zealand, England and South Africa have already voiced concerns about playing in Pakistan.
Richardson and the ICC’’s security expert will tomorrow outline the situation in Lahore and Karachi, where matches are scheduled, to Cricket Australia (CA) officials, Australian captain Ricky Ponting and deputy Michael Clarke and players union boss Paul Marsh.
They will present the findings of a taskforce established recently to review security arrangements in the cities in a bid to encourage the defending champion to compete.
Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson, who spends a lot of his time in Lahore, has been drafted in to the recruitment drive by the ICC and will attend tomorrow’’s meeting in Melbourne, along with Federation of International Cricketers” Associations boss Tim May.
The Australian Cricketers” Association (ACA) last month recommended to its members that Pakistan was too unsafe to tour, given the wave of suicide bombings in the country and its proximity to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Marsh questioned at the time what could change within a couple of weeks, but an ACA spokeswoman today said Marsh and the players would go into tomorrow’’s meeting with open minds.
A CA spokesman said the players and officials would have the chance to ask questions in the meeting, but the national body would not make a final decision to tour tomorrow.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) continues to strongly advise people to reconsider visiting Pakistan due to the “very high threat of terrorist attack, sectarian violence and the unpredictable security situation”.
Australia’’s consulates in Karachi and Lahore are closed for security reasons until further notice.
The ICC delegation spent today in New Zealand, meeting with Black Caps players and officials. Another delegation, headed by ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, is currently in England meeting with players from England and South Africa.
Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998 because of security concerns. A scheduled tour earlier this year was postponed until next year. (ANI)

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