Special Correspondent

Colombo: The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Thursday, reiterated its decision to stage the Champions Trophy in Pakistan, after Australia, England and New Zealand had led calls for a switch of venue, citing security concerns.

In a teleconference that lasted two and a quarter hours, the ICC Board considered security report, and discussed the concerns of members as well as the perceptions of Pakistan before taking the decision.

"Player security is top priority, and it’s not something I take lightly" ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat told reporters here on Thursday.

Task team

"The ICC has appointed a task team which will travel to Pakistan shortly to oversee security arrangements.The task team will essentially look at two things. They will make sure that all of the recommendations put forward in the security report will be implemented properly.

"There are a lot of perceptions and concerns that arise from intelligence reports and otherwise. The task force will ensure they communicate with various embassies and respective givernments that issue some of these warnings. And ensure that we manage the fears or the concerns the players have in coming through to Pakistan. "

The task team will comprise ICC president David Morgan, president-elect Sharad Pawar, Lorgat, ICC principal advisor Inderjit Singh Bindra, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf, and representatives of ESPN STAR Sports, the ICC’s independent security advisors, and Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).

Safe event

Mr. Lorgat said he was confident the tournament would be a safe event. "We know of no credible threat against the event or any of the players," he said. "We are confident that the conflict that is going on in Pakistan is pretty much the government and militants related. The Asia Cup was held recently and there were no incidents."

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