South Africa being tapped to host ICC Champions Trophy

March 11th, 2009 - 10:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, March 11 (IANS) The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executive committee Wednesday recommended South Africa will host the Champions Trophy later this year.
South Africa will thus replace Pakistan, which was slated to host the tournament last year, but was removed after several countries refused to travel to the strife-torn country. The ICC Board, however, will finally confirm South Africa as a host nation during its meeting Monday.

“The meeting agreed we had to do everything possible to ensure the ICC Champions Trophy is a successful event. On that basis, it was felt that it would be too great a risk to stage the tournament in Colombo at a time of year when there was a distinct possibility of rain,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also opted itself a possible host but couldn’t gurantee there would be no rain in Colombo during the Sep 24-Oct 5 period when the torunamnet is likely to be held.

“We are extremely grateful for Sri Lanka Cricket’s willingness to step aside in this matter and for Cricket South Africa’s willingness to be considered as the host for the event,” Lorgat said.

The South African went on to add: “On that basis, and with the need to minimise risk and create certainty around the event, the meeting agreed to recommend that Cricket South Africa be sought as the alternative host, subject to agreement over financial arrangements.”

“This was especially relevant given the length of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy has been reduced to 12 days, part of our desire to make it a short, sharp event, as on that basis there would be no room for reserve days.”

The ICC CEO also said that South Africa has succesfully hosted the World Twenty20 at much the same time of year two years ago and the weather pattern in the area around Johannesburg in September and October is stable and ideal for cricket.

“The meeting, therefore, agreed it would be prudent to look to hold the tournament in South Africa, subject to agreement over financial arrangements,” Lorgat said.

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