SPORT

Pakistan not to host Champions Trophy

PERTH: Pakistan will not host the 2009 Champions Trophy after the International Cricket Council revoked the rights on security grounds.

The ICC board announced on Sunday that ongoing concerns from several of the eight teams due to compete in the already rescheduled limited-overs tournament prompted the decision.

At a two-day meeting in Perth, the ICC also repealed its earlier overrule in the result of the 2006 Test between England and Pakistan at The Oval, restoring a win to England instead of the draw.

The venues in the West Indies for the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup were also confirmed, but the board deferred a decision on the new host for the Champions Trophy until its April meeting.

The Champions Trophy, the second biggest limited-overs tournament after the World Cup, had been postponed last year for 12 months when teams including Australia, England and New Zealand expressed concerns over travelling to Pakistan.

However, the ICC said on Sunday that “several members” remained worried about visiting Pakistan, so it had no reason but to switch venues.

Pakistan will receive compensation for the change, with an ICC statement saying “Pakistan would retain the revenue due for hosting the tournament.”

Unfortunate

“It is unfortunate the ICC Champions Trophy will not take place in Pakistan due to circumstances completely beyond the control of the Pakistan Cricket Board,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in the statement.

“However the board has accepted the need for certainty in planning for and delivering a world-class event and will now assess where the event should be held.”

The decision brought immediate criticism from Pakistan.

“The PCB has not presented its case properly in the ICC meeting,” Senator Enver Baig, a member of the Pakistan Senate’s standing committee on sports, said.“Recently we successfully organised three One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka at Karachi and Lahore and I fail to understand why the PCB could not convince other countries to tour Pakistan.”

In a further announcement, Barbados, Guyana and St. Lucia were named as the host venues for the World Twenty20 in 2010, upon recommendation from the board of the West Indies.

A women’s Twenty20 tournament will be played concurrently at St. Kitts, with semifinals and finals of both competitions to be held on the same day and venue. — AP

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