ICC to resolve Champions Trophy impasse this week

By Aroonim Bhuyan, IANS,

Dubai : The International Cricket Council (ICC) failed to take a concrete stand on the venue of September’s Champions Trophy after a security briefing here Sunday and said it will come to a conclusion after its board meeting later this week.

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The representatives of all the eight participating countries, host broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports and players’ representatives were briefed on the security situation in Pakistan by the ICC here.

The ICC security consultants report was based on the steps taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during the recently-concluded Asia Cup. In the wake of recent bomb blasts in Pakistan, English, Australians and New Zealand cricketers have expressed their concern on touring the strife-torn country.

The meeting also heard from the PCB on its plans for dealing with security both in the lead-up to and during the Champions Trophy.

The ICC also lauded the high level of security steps taken by the PCB during the Asia Cup the latter assured that same would be taken during the Champions Trophy as well. But concerns were expressed about the potential for threats beyond the PCB’s control.

These concerns will now be taken to the ICC Board during the course of this week with the Board then arriving at a definitive decision on the location of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy.

Until or unless the board decides otherwise, the tournament will proceed in Pakistan.

The Champions Trophy, due to take place in September, involves the top eight one-day sides playing 15 matches in a short, sharp tournament with two groups of four teams, semi-finals and a final.

In the spate of recent bomb blasts in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa are being considered as a replacement for the volatile Pakistan.