Pakistan will retain the right to host the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy even though it has been postponed from September 2008 to about a year later.
"Pakistan retains the hosting rights and we will continue to review the safety and security situation," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told reporters here Thursday after the conclusion of the world cricket organisation’s board meeting.
The eight-team event was originally scheduled in Pakistan Sep 12-28 but had to be postponed till Octpber next year after South Africa pulled out of the event due to security fears. Other top teams like Australia, New Zealand and England were also unwilling to participate in the championship after several players threatened to pull out citing security concerns.
“What we have decided in today’s meeting was that we will hold the event sometime in Sep-Oct next year and that’s the task I have to do in that period,” Lorgat said.
Lorgat has been assigned to work out with the boards of the eight countries for holding the event in Pakistan.
Asked if there is a final deadline to holding the event, he said: “There is an understanding that we need to have it within 13 months of the postponed original scheduled dates. So, I would like to have it somewhere before the end of October next year.”
ICC president David Morgan said that all the eight participating nations were committed to participating in the event.
“There are eight participating nations and they are all committed to participating. No country has backed out,” he said.
His comments came in the wake of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah’s remarks that it would be difficult for India to field a team if it was held in Sep-Oct 2009 as the timing would clash with a bilateral series with Australia.
“We have said that the Champions Trophy in October (2009) will not be possible for us since we are hosting Australia at that time,” the Cricinfo website quoted Shah as saying after the ICC chief executive's meeting here Wednesday.
“The one-day series against Australia is a very important fixture for us. It has been scheduled and we can’t do anything about it. All the boards will have to find another solution or window for the Champions Trophy,” Shah said.
Asked whether the ICC had the power to stop a scheduled bilateral series from going on in case such a necessity arises, Morgan said: “We are not talking about powers here. There are some FTP (Future Tours and Programmes) events in place. And ICC is not going to set out to cause chaos with the scheduling of those events."
“What Haroon is going to do is engaging with the boards to see what rescheduling, what adjustments can be made without any undue loss to the boards concerned,” he added.